Essay about Modernism: History of Painting and Short Brush Strokes

Submitted By Beth611
Words: 555
Pages: 3

Modernism and Impressionism Modernism was the movement in Western art that rejected traditional Victorian standards and the conservative values of realism. This period in art history is characterized by innovation and experimentation. The movement was driven by the political, economic and social pressures of the industrial age (Samu, 2004). Abstract artists began to experiment with color and shapes making them the subject of their paintings verses painting a subject. Schoenberg believed that by ignoring harmony he had discovered a new way of organizing sound (Samu, 2004). In literature poems were created that defied clear interpretation ( Feiro, 2011). In Architecture many traditional styles were thought absolute. New styles were created for the purpose of the building verses including angelic cherubs or religious symbols. The styles of modernism are Impressionism, Post-impressionism, Dadaism, Cubism, Fauvism, and Futurism. The Impressionism is a style of painting that began in Paris, France in the mid-1800’s (Rahn).
Impressionists would take their supplies outdoors and paint the world around them. If the painting included people, they would look like actual people you see in everyday life. For example the local store keeper, a child eagerly waiting for a play to begin. Often family and friends were used as subjects in their paintings. The style was called impressionism because the artist did not focus on making the painting realistic. An impressionist painter used many short brush strokes, applied the paint thickly, to create the impression of a subject. The paint is often so thick that the painting almost looks 3D. Another characteristic of an impressionist painting is the study of light (Rahn). The way light changes the shadows and colors of subjects were very important to the impressionist. For example, Claude Monet would paint in series, making many pictures of the same subject during various times throughout the day and in various seasons (Fiero, 2011). Monet also enjoyed painting sunsets using vivid colors and short brush strokes creating a glorious effect. Although composers are generally not as accurately described as an impressionist several are recognized as such. Composures Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel are considered to be impressionists. Musical Impressionist style tends to make more use of dissonance and more uncommon scales such as whole-tone scale. Another popular scale is the pentatonic…