Isaiah States. Its originators were artists who rejected the

Isaiah Mugambwa
12/13/2017

In this paper, I am going
to contrast and compare some of the two most important art movements,
Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism, and two artists that played a major role
influencing others after them in these movements. These artists that I am a
going to talking about are Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, whom I believe to
be some of the greatest artist of all time in this period. I will compare paintings
by both artists and show how they both put passion in their works. I will start
off with a brief history of both the movements and the two artists. The
impressionist movement begun in the 19th century and was considered
the start of modern day art work in France and Europe. “Impressionism can be
considered the first distinctly modern movement in painting. Developing in
Paris in the 1860s, its influence spread throughout Europe and eventually the
United States. Its originators were artists who rejected the official,
government-sanctioned exhibitions, or salons, and were consequently shunned by
powerful academic art institutions.” “Impressionism
Movement Overview and Analysis”. Internet. 2017. TheArtStory.org

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Oscar Claude Monet was
the founding father of French impressionism and is considered one of the greatest
of the Impressionist painters. In his early days, according to a
biography I read about him.  Monet became
very well-known for his caricatures and for drawing residents of his town
located in Le Havre. After a while though, Monet switched to painting mother
nature and the natural scene. According to his Biography this was because he
met Eugene Boudin who was a landscape artist. Boudin introduced Manet to a
style that Manet would end up using a lot and can be seen in the two paintings
I will talk about. In this kind of style, Monet painted the outdoors and
focused on his atmosphere and lighting.

One of the paintings I am
going to talk about is Le Grenouillere.
Le Grenouillere was painted by Monet when he apparently had dream about
the baths at Le Grenouillere and made a few sketches of them with his friend
Renoir who also happened to be a painter.

The Grenouillere is a
painting that shows a typical day at a resort along the Siene river located in
France. It shows nature, people from different walks of life. The composition
concentrates mainly on the foreground. It has a couple of points of interest
which I say include “Le Chembatre” which are the figures on the island at the
center of the painting, all these figures are all dressed differently which
shows that classes mixed at La Grenouillere, which made this painting even more
interesting. It also has a stretch of trees and foliage in the background
painted in a much lighter fashion which shows Monet’s appreciation for nature as
an artist. Monet uses a combination of thick bold brushstrokes and small short
soft brushstrokes which creates a  varied
look and helps give a clear and impression of one’s perspective. Another aspect
that varies is the tone and how Monet paints some areas lighter than the other
and vice versa. The shades on the barge are an example of how some areas are
darker than others giving the painting some life. I believe that the way the
water looks is one of the main reasons as to why this painting is good and
another reason why Manet was a master at his art. The way the water looks from
up close and afar is different. From afar it shows smoothness and reality but
from up close one can see that the brushwork is short and broken. The painting
still holds onto a little bit of the classical style but at the same time
breaks away from it because Manet wants to show the lives of the ordinary
people and not just the wealthy. I believe that through his painting, Manet was
trying to capture a typical laid-back French scene of unsuspecting ordinary people
enjoying a good day (Manet was sort of a people watcher).

Another painting by Manet
that interested me was The Road-Bridge at Argentil painted in 1874 This
painting is one of a river scene that has a sailing boat as the Point of interest.
The boat is painted in just a dark shade, but this contrasts well with the
lighter surroundings, something that can be also be seen in the Le Grenouillere
with the rowboats. As a spectator, one looks on this piece from the riverbank,
with the small boat positioned just slightly to the left, which allows one to
have an uninterrupted view of the long bridge with its different shapes and
curves. The bridge helps give an impression of perspective and leads your eye
onto the house, small boat and riverbank in the background. The brushwork in
this painting is very short and broken in all places, unlike in Le Grenouillere
where it is not as obvious, however it is much less obvious in the sky and on
the shadows. The brushstrokes blend to yield a stunning view of the River from
afar but as you get close, you can notice that the paint is somewhat distinct
and everything The shadows help make the boat and the bridge look more
three-dimensional especially on the bridge where it really adds to the
curvature of the arcs. Monet uses a thicker paint with stubbier strokes to do
the trees while with the water he uses softer paint and fluid skips. Another
part is the figure on the boat. It looks like this figure was done with dark kind
of blue unlike the other aspects of the painting. The Seine is also beautifully
done in a way that it stands out and feels like the real place, its realistic
in a way. He uses rough brush strokes to portray the calm rippling water which
I think is cool. I think the painting creates a sense of calm and relaxation. By
using various colors and blending them the way he does, Manet creates a
masterpiece. He shows the commitment and dedication he had towards making sure
his art was magnificent. By using different kinds of brush strokes and
techniques, he uses different range of colors to add something unique to the
painting which is awesome.

Both paintings have many similarities,
but they also show the different sides to Manet’s style of painting.  Le Grenouillere has much thicker
brushstrokes and focuses on much darker colors such as greens and browns, while
in the Road- Bridge, Manet tends to use lighter yellows and blues and his
brushstrokes are much shorter and rougher. To me I believe that these create
two different kind of moods. Le Grenouillere is more “let’s go out to the Park
and interact with people” while the road bridge is more like “I want to sit by
the water on a nice sunny day and read a book” These two paintings show how
similar but different Manet’s paintings were and how much he put into his work.

Post-Impressionism can be
loosely defined as a variety of movements driven by a group of individual
artists all seeking a new way to create art and some of these movements
included; Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism, and the later
work of some Impressionists. Post impressionism took some ideas from
Impressionism like using colors that stood out, working from real life but
refused to paint scenes or incidents as they appeared. One thing I learnt about
this movement is that most of the artists worked solo and usually had different
individual styles. One of these artists was Vincent van Goh

Vincent Willem van Gogh
(March 30, 1853 to July 29, 1890) was one of the best  post-impressionist painters whose work was not
really recognized back in his time but today is considered some of the best
artwork. Even he suffered from mental illness Van Goh still managed to make
good paintings and he expressed himself through these. Van Goh was a lonely man
who depended on his brother, spent some time in a mental hospital and also cut
off his ear., His works are most known for the emotion they express, and colors
used to express such emotions

A piece done by Van Goh
that I particularly found interesting was The Church at Auvers.  I found interesting not only because of how
it looked but also because Van Goh painted it after he had left an insane
asylum. To the viewer, the main point of interest if the big church in the
middle. Van Goh uses a variety of light and dark colors to create a specific
effect on the viewer During the research I conducted, I came across an article
that said that Van Goh also put a self-portrait of him in the picture “Unnoted
is that Van Gogh turned the windows of the apse and part of the grass into a
veiled portrait of his own face. If you compare it to an earlier self-portrait
at left, you can see how the top sections of the window-glass are like
eye-lids. His “nose” is in the buttress and his beard and moustache
are on the ground. The line of his upper lip is where the shadow on the grass
meets the light. y” I thought that this was pretty cool. This shows what made
Van Goh different. Another fact about Van Goh is that he loved self-portraits,
so it shouldn’t have surprised me that incorporated one in this particular
piece. Van Goh uses color in this to express his emotion I think because the
colors are varied, and they are also extreme. Could be that he was feeling
someway after his insane asylum stint. The tone is also somewhat dark as you
can notice the stormy clouds above, but some areas of light are focused at the
bottom of the painting. I also feel that the wide brushstrokes also give an
impression of a rough texture which might add to the dark tone and mood of the
painting. Also he does not render the impression of light onto the cathedral
which an impressionist would have.

I was very intrigued by the
Church at Auvers because of how it looks, the fact that he painted it after
leaving an asylum. Maybe in a way he was trying to tell a story or maybe also
evolve. I also like it because it kind of reminded me of Monet’s piece
“Cathedral on Rouen”

 

Another piece by Van Goh
that I liked was The Starry Night that Van Goh did when he was in an
asylum and was done a year before he died. “This morning I saw the
countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the
morning star, which looked very big,”(Van Goh). The piece from a spectator view
is looking down on a small sleeping town with the night sky and flame like
cypress as some of the main points. Most of the painiting is blue but the kind
of blue varies with different shades and this helps make the ight time and
skyline look good. Van Gog also uses mixtures of orange, white and yellow to
give the color some life and to emphasize the flame like cypress. i feel that
the tone is mainly dark, because of all the dark blue and the fact that this
was painted at a time when Van Goh was probably in a dark place in his life.
The mood is a little different, the brightness in the sky and the swirls give
off a kind of energetic feeling that feels as maybe even though he was in a
dark place, Van Goh was still doing what he loved and this made him happy
despite being locked away.

 

I like this piece as it
is complex, tells a different kind of story and shows how talented and
emotional Van Goh was. As a viewer, Van Goh makes you feel as if its you
staring down at the village with the good view of the blue skyline and the swirls
and flames.

 

    Both of these paintings are very different
with only a few similarities. The brush strokes used in The Starry night are
more concentrated on short lines with the ones in the Church at Auvers are much
larger. Although both pieces are generally dark, Van Goh still emphasizes some
bright colors that stand out to give both paintings more vigor. The church at
Auver is a little more realistic than The Starry night which feels more and has
an expressionist look. Both painting evoke a certain kind of emotion be it
excitement or eerie. Van Goh shows in both paintings why he was a master. If
only people had appreciated him when he was living.

 

Even though post
impressionism came from those who wanted to break away from impressionism a
little bit, both movements still had a considerable amount of similarities.
Usage of bright colors were among these similarities. Post impressionism was
more extreme version of impressionism, but I feel as if there was more emotion
in the post-impressionist paintings. There’s more use of colors to bring out
emotion and brings the paintings to life which made post impressionism popular.
The artist which I like the most is Van Gogh as I feel his artwork is quite outstanding.
He creates whole new and exciting visions of his interpretations on the things
he sees. Maybe because of his illness, he saw things in his own way and this
probably made him an even better artist. he created vivid and intense paintings
and one could tell that there was a lot of emotion behind all of them.