Unfortunately, Impressionism in music is not defined the same way as
Impressionism in art. (Impressionist music is beautiful!) The conclusion
from his logic is that Monet is not an "Impressionist Composer." Your
brother's observation about light seems to be correct (in regards to the
attention to light) but it is in keeping with the definition of
Impressionism, not an aberration thereof. I am pasting some info on
impressionism from http://metalab.unc.edu/ more specifically
"The impressionist style of painting is characterized chiefly by
concentration on the general impression produced by
a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to
simulate actual reflected light.
Impressionism, French Impressionnisme, a major movement, first in painting
and later in music, that developed chiefly in
France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Impressionist painting
comprises the work produced between about 1867
and 1886 by a group of artists who shared a set of related approaches and
techniques. The most conspicuous characteristic of
Impressionism was an attempt to accurately and objectively record visual
reality in terms of transient effects of light and colour.
The principal Impressionist painters were Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste
Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Berthe
Morisot, Armand Guillaumin, and Frédéric Bazille, who worked together,
influenced each other, and exhibited together
independently. Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne also painted in an Impressionist
style for a time in the early 1870s. The
established painter Édouard Manet, whose work in the 1860s greatly
influenced Monet and others of the group, himself
adopted the Impressionist approach about 1873.
The word ``impressionniste'' was printed for the first time in the Charivari
on the 25 April 1874 by Louis Leroy, after Claude
Monet's landscape entitled Impressions: soleil levant [Impressions]. This
word was used to call Exposition des
Impressionnistes an exhibit hold in the salons of the photographer Nadar and
organized by the ``Société anonyme des
peintres, sculpteurs et graveurs'' [``Anonymous society of painters,
sculptors and engravers''], composed of Pissarro, Monet,
Sisley, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Guillaumin and Berthe Morisot."
>From: Ellyn Wenk <ellyn>
>To: ArtsEdNet Talk group <artsednet.edu>
>Subject: Is Monet indeed an Impressionist?
>Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 12:11:37 -0500
>Dear ArtsEdNet group,
>Here is an email post I received from my brother. He is so
>articulate in his refusal to believe that Monet was indeed an
>impressionist that I was wondering what the rest of you feel
>about this idea?
>I know zip about Monet except that he was "supposed" to be
>an Impressionist. Well, if that is how the Gurus of Art deem him,
>so be it. But to me he is no Impressionist. I actually like some
>work. Now I know what Impressionism is because music also has its
>Impressionists: Debussy, Ravel, etc. The idea is that one trys to
>an "atmosphere" without attention to detail or structure. True
>Impressionism uses beautiful chord structures, big, fat, lush
>which can aurally "go" anywhere because they include almost every
>the scale. There is little feeling of Tonic with Impressionistic
>No sense of Form or structure. Monet does not fit this
>Therefore, to me, he is no Impressionist. I don't know who is,
>ain't! His form is very good, the feeling of width and depth and
>structure are quite apparent. This is not Impressionism. I don't
>what to call it but I would say he painted so that "light" was
>feature of his creations. Even his darker works have a structural
>light and shadow totally unlike Impressionism. Perhaps he is
>Impressionistic because of the period in which he painted. As the
>implies, impressions are not accurate. They are holistic, not
>structural. So I don't know were the great "they" come off
>Impressionistic. I even went to a few sites tonight to try to
>Impressionistic paintings by him. Obviously I failed.
>. I would like to know where the "impressions" are if you know.
>What I see in his painting is line and
>form and above all the interplay of light and shapes to "define "
>suggest or impress or imply) temperature and emotion.
>I'm not trying to dictate anything but I do appreciate
>Monet; I do not find impressions in his works. They are clear,
>concise yet emotional.
> It is interesting that both music and art came to a point
>in the last
>century where the leading eggheads felt "everything" that could
>had been done. Obviously they were grossly mistaken else we would
>had no new artistic endeavors for the last 150 years. I do not
>idea that the photograph obviated the painting. No way! A
>a stagnant moment in time. It can be beautiful, obviously, but it
>never approach the beauty of form, depth, line and light that
>does. Photos are limited by field and focal width. When one's
>6 feet from a tree one's photo will only include a fixed height,
>and depth; when one paints the same scene he can include much,
>than any photographer can even dream of. I do not go along with
>that photography freed artists from the need to accurately
>people, places and things. This idea that miasmic hints or
>of the tangibles of life are art is ludicrous. Such blurry,
>scurrilous impressions may evoke emotions but so does every kid
>grammar school and every laborer who wields a 6-inch paint brush
>the siding of a suburban ranch house. These are not artists. They
>called decorators, interior or exterior, but artists? No way.
>reality of vision and mind must be mastered completely as far as
>depth of field and texture are concerned. Then an artist puts his
>emotions into the modification of reality to create vicarious
>in his audience.
> Ah, well, what do I know, eh? The long and short of it is
>that I like
>Monet but cannot abide his rank as an Impressionist.
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