The Story of French Impressionism, Part XIII: Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) (pronounced either: "go" or "goff" or "gah") was actually a Dutch artist, though he was certainly part of the extent group of French Post-Impressionists. Self-Portrait (1887) -one of many self-portraits he completed in his lifetime. He was an incredibly prolific artist, creating around 2,100 paintings (or something like 4 paintings every … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part XIII: Vincent van Gogh

The Story of French Impressionism, Part XII: Armand Guillaumin

Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927) (pronounced: "ar-mone Gee-yoman") was born in Paris. He worked in his uncle's lingerie shop, and he also worked for the French government for a spell. While studying, he met Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne, though he never met their popularity nor critical reception. Guillaumin won the lottery which allowed him to quit … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part XII: Armand Guillaumin

The Story of French Impressionism, Part XI: Georges Seurat and Paul Signac

Georges Seurat (1859-1891) and Paul Signac (1865-1935) are generally associated with "Post-Impressionism" and "Pointillism." Georges Seurat (pronounced "George Sir-rah") was born in Paris. His father grew wealthy from various real estate speculative investments. He studied art as a young man and developed refined sensibilities, as well as mathematical precision in his works. The Suburbs (1882–1883) … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part XI: Georges Seurat and Paul Signac

The Story of French Impressionism, Part X: Paul Gauguin

Paul Gaugin (1848-1903) (pronounced "go-gan") was born during a tumultuous political epoch of revolutionary upheaval throughout Europe. His mother descended from both Spanish aristocracy, as well as socialist revolutionaries, while Gauguin's father ran a Socialist newspaper that was suppressed forcing the young family to flee Paris. Young Paul idolized his grandmother on his mother's side, … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part X: Paul Gauguin

The Story of French Impressionism, Part IX: Gustave Caillebotte

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) -pronounced "kye-bott"- was descended from a wealthy military textile family in Paris. His family owned a home in Paris and later bought a larger home south of Paris, as well. Photograph of Caillebotte circa 1878 Caillebotte studied law, and he was also drafted to serve in the armed forces during the Franco-Prussian War … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part IX: Gustave Caillebotte

The Story of French Impressionism, Part VIII: Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) is sometimes categorized as a "Post-Impressionist" painter by latter-day more sophisticated scholars of art history. In the same way that Manet is sometimes viewed as a bridge between "realism" and "modernism," Cézanne is sometimes viewed as a bridge between late Impressionism and other modernist movements, like Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part VIII: Paul Cézanne

The Story of French Impressionism, Part VII: Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) (pronounced "day-dahs" but in later life he changed the pronunciation to "day-gah") never wished to be called an "Impressionist" instead preferring to be called a "Realist." In his paintings he was obsessed with motion, particularly of dancers, which occupied nearly half of his works. Degas was raised in an upper middles-class family. … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part VII: Edgar Degas

The Story of French Impressionism, Part VI: Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) was one of the key female figures of French Impressionism. Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (1872) By: Édouard Manet - she often posed for Manet, this time in mourning for the death of her father. Like the other artists of the time, she began her career vying for a spot at … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part VI: Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt

The Story of French Impressionism, Part V: Camille Pissarro

Like Manet, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was an "elder statesman" of sorts for the young Impressionist movement, as well as for the future "Post-Impressionist" movement. He was born Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro in 1830 on the island of St. Thomas (a former Dutch colony, part of the "Danish West Indies") to Portuguese-Jewish parents, with French nationality. … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part V: Camille Pissarro