Lecture Forty Two
Manet and Monet, The Birth of Impressionism
Short, thick strokes of paint quickly capture the essence of the subject, rather than its details.
The paint is often applied impasto.
Colours are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible, creating a vibrant surface. The optical mixing of colours occurs in the eye of the viewer.
Grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complementary colours.
Pure impressionism avoids the use of black paint.
Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive applications to dry, producing softer edges and intermingling of colour. Painters often worked in the evening to produce effets de soirâ€”the shadowy effects of evening or twilight.
Impressionist paintings do not exploit the transparency of thin paint films (glazes), which earlier artists manipulated carefully to produce
The impressionist painting surface is typically opaque.
The play of natural light is emphasized.
Close attention is paid to the reflection of colours from object to object.
In paintings made en plein air (outdoors), shadows are boldly painted with the blue of the sky as it is reflected onto surfaces, giving a sense of freshness previously not represented in painting. (Blue shadows on snow inspired the technique.)