I took art for granted as a kid because I grew up surrounded by museums in New York. My parents also made sure when we traveled that we visited local museums, whether the exhibits were about art, science or geared specifically towards kids. Now that I’m raising a daughter of my own — and in the middle of the mountains — I miss being in proximity to more culture, and feel like I need to make a point to expose my kid to art since we can’t just walk down the street to browse the latest collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I’m hardly well schooled in art, but the Impressionist period has long been my favorite. I have been fortunate twice to visit the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which has a collection rich in Impressionist paintings and sculptures from 1848 – 1914. While I won’t be visiting again anytime soon, I still enjoy showing my daughter photos of the great works from a book we have, and as she starts to get older, I plan to start teaching her about some of the most significant artists of that period. Who ever knows when a seeing a particular brush stroke in a painting or hearing a salient piece of information can spark what could become a lifelong interest in art.
Here are five of some of the most well-known artists from the Impressionist period.
1. Camille Pissarro
Pissarro is considered a “father figure” not only to the Impressionists,” but to four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. He was born in 1830 to a family of Portuguese Jewish descent, and painted about rural and urban French life.
2. Edgar Degas
Early in his career, Degas set out to be a history painter, but he ultimately became known for painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. Some of his most well-known work, and over half of his body of work, focuses on dancers.
3. Edouard Manet
Born in Paris in 1832, Manet was the grandson of a diplomat, and his mother’s godfather was the Swedish crown prince. With his approach to modern life subjects, he is thought to be a pivotal figure from the transition of the Realism period in art, to Impressionism.
4. Paul Cezanne
Celebrating his 127th birthday today, Cezanne was a Post-Impressionist painter who bridged a gap to Cubism. His explorations of “geometric simplification” and “optical phenomena” are said to have inspired other artists such as Picasso, Braque and Gris.
5. Georges Seurat
Seurat’s most famous painting was A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The piece is recognized as “altering the direction of modern art” by initiating Neo-impressionism. Born into a wealthy family in Paris, Seurat is also recognized frequently for the pointillism technique he favored.
Does your child have a favorite painting?
Source and Image: Wikipedia