Create & Curate: Impressionism, Postimpressionism, Expressionism

Art is supposed to be an essential part of the daily life of each and every person. In fact, among the elements of the spiritual life of the mankind, such as religion, philosophy, and science, art holds a specific place as it surrounds us everywhere. Art can be seen on the streets, in the stores, in the pictures, etc. However, the masterpieces of the famous artists and painters are the results of the inspiration received in the everyday life based on personal interactions, philosophical, religious, political and scientific ideas as well as psychological characteristics of the world perception, ethical and moral norms, etc. In other words, art is a non-uniform phenomenon, which constantly evolves and changes. There can be defined a great variety of cultures and stylistic periods in the history of art. Nevertheless, the following paper is aimed to provide an analysis of the three images of artwork which belong to impressionism, post-impressionism and expressionism as the movements that changed the direction in the development of art.

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The term impressionism refers to the stylistic period in art which occurred in France in the 19th century. Impressionists asserted the beauty of the real world by emphasizing the freshness of the first impression as well as the constant changing of the surrounding world. The preferential attention to the solution of the purely pictorial aspects reduced the traditional idea of figure as the major part of the artwork. In fact, impressionism had a powerful influence on the art of European countries and the United States, prompting the interest to the subjects from real life.

Claude Monet is supposed to be one of the greatest representatives of impressionism (Wroght, 2012). The painting Impression, Sunrise (1872) was created by Claude Monet in the morning during the artists visit into Le Havre, the town of his childhood. The painting depicts a morning sunrise at the port, which can be seen as a symbol of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. The foreground of the picture shows the sea in blue-green tones, highlighted by the two silhouettes of the fishing boats. The bold black brush strokes and unexpressed silhouettes of the leaving boats provide the clear sense of the sea depth. All the colors used in the painting are dull and muted. The clear orange disk of the rising sun is supposed to be the only bright spot on the painting. However, its light is blended in the reflection of the sea water. The background of the artwork shows the gray-blue haze and the barely noticeable silhouettes of the sailing ships, cranes and chimneys. The smoke from the chimneys indicates the north-east wind.

The artwork Snow at Louveciennes (1878) by Alfred Sisley is supposed to be another example of impressionism. The landscape is made with a very limited range of colors. It is dominated by cool colors mixed with white. In fact, white color is dominant in the artwork. There is no place for sunlight. Despite the white color and its derivatives, the viewer faces with the gloomy, dark landscape. Everything is shrouded in mist and fog gloomy. The artist actively uses the technique of expressive brushstroke. In the picture, there are no small traced parts. It is completely composed of the coarse, overlapping thick brush strokes. They are located very close to each other.

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Post-impressionism is the art movement which occurred as the opposite reaction to impressionism between 1886 and 1905. The artists of post-impressionism refused to represent only the visible reality as the realists did, or momentary impression as the impressionists did. In fact, they sought to portray the basic, legitimate items as well as the essential conditions of life with the usage of decorative stylization.

The Starry Night (1889) by Vincent van Gogh is supposed to be a masterpiece of post-impressionism art (Wulkie, 2004). The huge cypress trees are the key pillars of the composition. Nevertheless, the artwork is focused on the greatness of the universe. The vortex in the sky recalls the Milky Way, the galaxy as well as the cosmic harmony, expressed in both ecstatic and blissful quiet movement of bodies in a dark blue space. The impressive range of colors includes the unique combination of deep dark blue, light blue as well as green and various colors and shades of yellow.

In The Bathers (1900), Paul Cezanne is focused one the natural beauty, which will soon be replaced with an artificial style. The water represents tranquility, harmony and the peace of feelings. While going into the water, each person is immersed into the bosom of nature, wanting to stay longer (Muller-Schreder, 2010). The freedom of the situation is transmitted through the gestures and postures of the bathers. The lines of womens bodies are smooth and lush. The girls represent fertility and the blossoming spring. Color match is unusual, but it allows to reflect the freedom and ease of the situation. The girls seemed not to notice the gaze directed at them, remaining cheerful and friendly.

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Expressionism refers to the art movement which occurred in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. It represents the world from a subjective perspective of the painter (Bahr, 2010).

The Scream (1893) by Edvard Munch is supposed to be a perfect example of expressionism (Vogt, 2009). The painter himself explains the idea of the picture as the scream of nature. The bloody red sky could be inspired by the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. In fact, the expression of the emotion is the main purpose of the artwork creation in expressionism.

The Large Blue Horses (1913) by Franz Marc reflect the artists love to the nature and animals, especially horses. The painter was seriously engaged in the study of animals and their anatomy in particular. He devoted to them his most famous paintings at abandoning to create human image, considering them as the ugly ones. The horses resemble the young strong boys. They cocked their heads to one side. However, their bodies were carried out in a bit of broken forms. In fact, the abovementioned manner is supposed to be one of the key characteristic of the artist. The sternums of the horses are permeated with the white color. At the same time, their manes and hooves remain blue.

The abovementioned paper based on the Impression, Sunrise (1872) by Claude Monet and Snow at Louveciennes (1878) by Alfred Sisley reflected on the main features of impressionism. The analysis of The Starry Night (1889) by Vincent van Gogh and In The Bathers (1900) by Paul Cezanne provided the review of post-impressionism. Expressionism was viewed based on investigating the peculiar features of The Scream (1893) by Edvard Munch and The Large Blue Horses (1913) by Franz Marc.

The paper proved that impressionism, post-impressionism and expressionism provided a noticeable effect on the development of art. In fact, the abovementioned stylistic periods made a great impact on the subsequent development of the fine arts and artistic culture in general. However, impressionism and post-impressionism imply the two sides of the art representation. It is better to say that these are the two successive time phases of the radical changes, which marked the boundaries between the modern and contemporary art. The artworks used in the paper proved that they are considered to be the masterpieces of the abovementioned stylistic periods.

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