"The Old Gardener" by Guillaume Van Strydonck (Private Collection)
The term impressionism brings to mind Claude Monet and his shimmering landscapes, Renoir’s ravishing portraits, and other artists of the French school. In fact, impressionism was an international movement, with trends and influences moving between artists in France and those in many parts of the globe, who in turn created their own national variations on the style.
David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, examines why the development and practice of impressionism is now seen less as a uniquely French movement, and instead, as a major influence on the world's visual culture.
FEB 7 Impressionism in Russia
Russian impressionists celebrated the lives, hopes, dreams, and emotions of the country’s common people, often focusing on national and social concerns. Not all painters employed the same working methods and techniques: Ilia Repin responded to the direct and immediate style of Edouard Manet, while Valentin Serov favored the French style of painting quickly en plein air.
FEB 14 Italy's Impressionists
Federico Zandomeneghi created paintings that spoke to the influence of Edgar Degas, and Giuseppe De Nittis straddled the worlds of salon and impressionistic styles to explore themes of landscape and contemporary life.
FEB 21 Variations in the Low Countries
In Holland, Georg Hendrik Breitner, saw himself as the "people’s painter" and was known for his street scenes and harbor views. Jozef Israëls painted in a realistic manner and was considered one of the great Dutch painters of his time. Belgians Guillaume Van Strydonck and Émile Claus began their careers as realists, but later their works reflected the neo-impressionist style known as luminism.
FEB 28 British Impressionism
Walter Sickert, liked to paint quickly and thinly, avoiding a thick build-up of paint. His early works favored a dark palette, which eventually lightened as he matured. Sidney Starr was influenced primarily by the paintings of James McNeill Whistler.
World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit
View the online exhibition American Impressionism: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a look at more than 50 works that represent a wide range of influences and interpretations of the style.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)