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Top Ten Impressionist Painters

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-08-17
Impressionism is a form of painting developed in the 19th century in Paris, France. Brought into prominence by the series of independent exhibitions held by the impressionists amidst opposition from the orthodox and conventional art community of that time, it has developed into an important art form. Art has progressed very finely through the centuries and in a variety of forms. To enumerate all of them would consume huge time and effort; we dedicate this space to list the top ten impressionist painters of all times. The following is a list of the best known impressionists:

10 Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)

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She was an American painter but spent most of her life in France, where she met Edgar Degas and made contribution to the Impressionist movement. She depicted the lives of women of the 19th century, portraying their personal and social lives. She was born in an upper middle class family in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. She was introduced to Impressionism movement by Degas when she refused to paint in the traditional form and rejected genre paintings. Her impressionist style impressed her and she joined the movement. Her style was one of observant subjects which were tender but devoid of sentimental values, a majority of her works depicting mother and child. She died on 14th June 1926. More info

9 Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)

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Born in Paris, she was one of the very few female impressionist painters. Her work was displayed at the famous Salon de Paris, but despite that she joined the first Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. She became Edouard Manet’s sister-in-law when she married his brother Eugene. Her paintings reflected the social conditions of 19th century, indicating gender and class restrictions. She persuaded Manet to take up outdoor painting and she also introduced him to the Impressionists’ circle. She died on pneumonia on 2nd March, 1895. More info

8 Alfred Sisley (1839-1899)

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Impressionist landscape painter who was born in France. He remained true to landscape painting throughout his life and never forayed into figure painting. He remained unappreciated while alive and his works came into prominence after his death. A very prolific painter, he was a British citizen. He has concentrated on landscape painting more than perhaps any other impressionist. He died in 1899. More info

7 Frederic Bazille (1841-1870)

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A French impressionist painter, he is known for painting his models en plein air (outdoors). He studied medicine alongside painting, and turned his attention wholly to painting when he failed his medicine examination. He belonged to a wealthy family and helped support his fellow painters. A contemporary of Manet, Sisley and Monet, his depictions of figures within a landscape are well known. Bazille died in August 1870 at the age of 28. More info

6 Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

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French painter who played an important role in the development of the Impressionist style of art, his works explore the female beauty and sensuality. His paintings were displayed at the first independent Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1874. A very prolific painter, he developed rheumatoid arthritis and had adapt his painting technique due to his limited movement. He portrayed people in intimate conditions, with focus on nudity. He, along with Claude Monet discovered the effect of diffuse reflection, which is depicted in his post 1860 works. He died on 3rd December 1919. More info on Wikipedia

5 Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

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One of the most influential Impressionist painters, he is credited with a light airy form of painting with repetitive and conspicuous brushstrokes. He inspired the works on both Matisse and Picasso and is regarded as the link between Impressionism and Cubism. His paintings show remarkable and intense study of character and setting and simplifying surroundings to an architectural form. He died of pneumonia on 22nd October, 1906. More info on Wikipedia

4 Camille Pissaro

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He was born on the island of St. Thomas. He was called the ‘dean of impressionist painters’ because he was the oldest of the group and also because of his kind personality, which made him a father figure to some. His work focused on painting subjects in their natural environment without any additions or embellishments. In Paris, while exploring the various styles of art, he found the traditional methods ‘stifling’, which made him look for other alternatives. He formed a group with fifteen members, Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs, which was a collection of like minded artists who felt uncomfortable in the traditional form of painting and wanted to concentrate on their own unique styles of painting individuals in their natural surroundings. More info on Wikipedia

3 Edouard Manet (1832-1883)

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Born in Paris to an affluent family, Manet was one of the first impressionists, and among the first who drew paintings with modern-life subjects. His controversial works include ‘Luncheon on the Grass,’(1862-63) and ‘Olympia’. These works served as inspiration for upcoming impressionist artists and are among his masterpieces. His works are characterized by black outlining of the objects and subjects in the paintings, which force attention onto the surface and material. More info on Wikipedia

2 Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

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A French artist famous for his painting and sculpting, he was one of the founding members of the Impressionist movement. He was a master in painting art that depicted movement and is most famously remembered for the level of detail in his paintings that portray human physiology. His paintings specially focus on female nudity. He trained to be a history painter, but changed course later on in life to modern painting. He copied many famous works of artists like Michelangelo, Titian, but contrary to usual practice, he focused on secondary objects that were present in the works, or other small detail. He was a known anti-Semitist and remained so until his death in 1917. More info

1 Claude Monet (1840-1926)

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The founder of the French impressionist movement, also the father of the impressionist painting. He is the most prolific impressionist painter and embodies the true spirit and nature of the movement. The term ‘Impression’ has been taken from the title of one of his works, “Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise). Monet’s work ‘The woman in the green dress’ made him well known. He painted his most well known work, Sunrise, which depicts a Le Havre port landscape, in 1872. It was hung in the first impressionist exhibition in 1874. Though the term ‘Impression’ was used by critic Louis Leroy to be used as a discouragement, the impressionist painters picked up the name for themselves. He died of lung cancer on 5th December, 1926 and is buried in Giverny. More info

There is no doubt that there have been several other notable names in the history of impressionist paintings, but these names have been listed in the golden list due to the sheer value of their art.

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