Top 5 fun facts about Impressionism and Impressionist painters
What you have to know about Impressionism before we start is that it is a movement that actually started in Paris. They first faced an extreme opposition from the French conventional artists community. The Impressionism painting have the specificity to put emphasis on light and its evolution throughout a certain time. Here are our top 5 fun facts about Impressionism and Impressionist painters.
First fun fact: The origin of their name
The first fun fact about Impressionist painters is that Impressionists were first called that way by their detractors. They decided to call themselves that way later on as a title of glory. They reclaimed the name “Impressionist” to their advantage. The picture above was painted by Claude Monet and is known to be the first Impressionist painting that ever existed. It is called “Impression, soleil levant“, which means Impression, sunrise in English. The title of this painting also inspired the name of this art movement.
Second fun fact: Not that appreciated at the time
For the Impressionists, entering the world of the arts was not easy. The great Academic Fairs refused them and the critics were more and more cruel to them. At the time of artistic academism and its very strict rules, this new art was disturbing.
The Impressionists were accused of not finishing their paintings, of dealing with social or banal subjects, of not following the rules of good taste set by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Most artists could not sell their paintings and lived in poverty for years.
Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. It is called “Les Vignes Rouges” pictured above. And his only buyer was his brother.
Third fun fact: Their actual value and specifities
As I said previously, Impressionists were not highly recognized at the time. But now, this artistic movement is famous worldwide ! One of the most expensive Impressionist painting of all time was painted in a cabaret in Montmartre by Pierre Auguste Renoir called “Le Moulin de la Galette“, was sold for 143 millions dollars ! He was born in 1841 and died in 1919, he painted more than 6.000 paintings during his lifetime.
Fun Fact n°4 :The secret behind thee famous “femmes au jardin” by Claude Monet
“Femmes au jardin” is a painting by Claude Monet portraying three women in a lovely rather bourgeois garden. All the women are dressed differently so you could think that three different women posed for him. But actually, Camille, his wife, posed for all three of them !
Fifth fun fact: A good sense of humour
Impressionism paintings can be funny painting. In 1880, Edouard Manet painted a bunch of asparagus. His sponsor loved the painting and give him 200 coins more than he was supposed to. As a thank you present Manet sent him another painting with only one asparagus this time. He joined a note saying “there was a missing asparagus to your bunch“.
This is the end of our top 5 fun facts about Impressionism and Impressionist painters. We can not wait for you to come visit us here in Paris to get to know more about this genre. Join the Montmartre tour if you want to know more about the Impressionism art movement and visit the Orsay Museum to see the best Impressionism works.
See you soon in Paris!