Impressionism is a 19th century art movement that originated in France. It has largely transformed an artist perception of creating art and the techniques used. Through the transformation, transcendental depiction is no longer seen as important and necessary to guide the viewer in remembrance of a greater good and of God. Rather, the artists capture aesthetic beauty of life according to their own perception of life.
Characteristics of impressionist art include: outdoors compositions, ordinary subjects, inclusions of movements, short, fine brush strokes, etc. No longer do the artists create distinct outlines or clearly defined objects. Rather, they use a free brush technique. The artists capture momentary and transitory effects of sunlight within their pieces, and they have recreated the sensation of the eyes contemplating the subject rather than the artist purely recreating the object. In impressionist art, the artist does not blend the colors or use shading so that he or she can obtain the effect of intense color vibration.
Majority of the world did not accept impressionist art at first because of the different characteristics and the messages it can convey. For example, impressionist art removes any form of transcendental importance. The focus and purpose of the art removes God and His Holy prominence, and places it onto individualistic views and a person’s aesthetic pleasures for his or herself. The art captures the viewer into admiring the beauty alone. Impressionist art, in a sense, is an individual’s escape from the troubled and horrific world, into a realm of beauty and serene atmosphere. It takes aesthetic pleasures and creates an urge to consistently engulf oneself in a “perfect” atmosphere, which later leads many artists and people into a downward spiral.
Claude Monet, for example, recreates such an atmosphere in his “Water Lilies,” in which he recreated his garden at Giverny. The paintings are without a doubt, beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. It awes the viewer upon first glance, and captures the viewer to admire the beauty and think of nothing else other than its elegance. However, when contemplating the meaning of the painting, there are no deep incorporated meanings. It does not lead the viewer to examining or admiring a greater good for his or her life. The viewer does not contemplate on its significance and its influence to strive for a better existence while on earth.
The painting, as shown below, is in fact more visually pleasing than the real garden and water lilies itself. The vibrant colors and blurred depiction engulfs the viewer to admire its grandeur of real life. This, in actuality, describes just the beautiful problem with impressionist art. For myself, I am automatically overwhelmed by the beauty of this realm of a serene and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, in which I should be reminding myself of the importance of art to be positively influencing my life and reminding me God’s gift of talent.