Impressionism: Art and Literature

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Impressionism, the history started in the 19th century. A group of French artists has rebelled in their work of art by painting the things around them. Among them are Berthe Morisot, Cezanne, Degas, Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir. The term ‘impressionism’ was coined by an art critic named Louis Leroy regarding a painting from Monet in 1873, the ‘Impression: Sunrise (‘Impression, Soleil Levant’). According to Louis Leroy the paintings from the group lacked details, unfinished and did not show the hard works that were exerted in traditional arts.

Impression I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it — and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! A preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more finished than this seascape. (Leroy, 1874) However, other critics were more sympathetic of the Impressionism art of the group describing them to stamp on the senses. Impressionism art spread on other western countries fast. The Impressionism was adopted in literature.

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The incorporation of impressionism in poems, prose and other literary works were applied whereas the literary appeals on the feelings, thoughts, impressions, emotions, sensations and impressions of the character. Impressionist literatures are characterized when actions, scenes or characters are portrayed to view reality subjectively. The characteristic of such works are subsumed in some categories including Symbolism. Among the writers who adapted such style are Baudelaire, Laforgue, Mallarme, Rimbaud and Verlaine.

Novels like The Lagoon by Joseph Conrad and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf are great examples of this genre since the comprehension of their novels are not easy.

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Conclusion The connection of both arts and literatures under the Impressionism genre is the way the works are conveyed to the viewers or readers. The way the Impressionism literatures allow the readers to use their senses allows stimulating different intellectual interpretation from one person to the other rather than conveying in plain words the character or scenes detailed in the written works.

The same were applied to the early work of arts of Impressionism. Therefore, I disagree on the description of the unfriendly critic Louis Leroy when he said that the early work of arts do not have the hard work in traditional artworks because to stimulate the thinking and emotions through artworks and literary is a challenge for every artist and writer into Impressionism.


Updated: Dec 12, 2023
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Impressionism: Art and Literature. (2016, Sep 25). Retrieved from

Impressionism: Art and Literature essay
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