impressionism, in painting, late-19th-century French school that was generally characterized by the attempt to depict transitory visual impressions, often painted directly from nature, and by the use of pure, broken color to achieve brilliance and luminosity. It was loosely structured in that many painters were associated with the movement for only brief periods in their careers. Their association often came about more for the purpose of exhibiting their works than from an approach to painting held in common.
Sections in this article:
- The Birth of Impressionism
- Impressionists and Postimpressionists
- The Legacy of Impressionism
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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