Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Lesson Plans

Re: Is Monet indeed an Impressionist?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Linda Kelty (lckelty)
Thu, 29 Jul 1999 22:01:56 -0400

The advent of the camera freed the artist from didactic realism or
representation. Abstraction was the result of release from the cultural
need for reality because realistic images could be more efficiently captured
on film for historical representation or illustration. The camera freed the
artist to discover emotive and lyrical content to a greater degree than ever
before accepted. Linda K.
-----Original Message-----
From: Ellyn Wenk <ellyn>
To: ArtsEdNet Talk group <>
Date: Thursday, July 29, 1999 1:06 PM
Subject: Is Monet indeed an Impressionist?

>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
>of his
>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
>note of
>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,
>but Monet
>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
>the key
>feature of his creations. Even his darker works have a structural
>use of
>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
>calling him
>Impressionistic. I even went to a few sites tonight to try to
>find some
>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,
>cold ad
>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
>be done
>had been done. Obviously they were grossly mistaken else we would
>had no new artistic endeavors for the last 150 years. I do not
>buy the
>idea that the photograph obviated the painting. No way! A
>photograph is
>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
>camera is
>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,
>much more
>than any photographer can even dream of. I do not go along with
>the idea
>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
>may be
>called decorators, interior or exterior, but artists? No way.
>First the
>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.

  • Reply: Stenger - Judith DiSalvo: "Re: ...someone's sob story who needs help...long post"