Beginning with the French art movements just prior to the emergence of the Impressionist movement, viewers are then given a basic history of how the movement began, it major players, and how it influenced the future of French painting and sculpture. When the French École Des Beaux Arts repeatedly refused works outside the neoclassical style, a Salon of the Refused was organized by the École under Napoleon III’s direction. Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, and many other artists were able to show their paintings publicly for the first time. Their works, utilizing the first premixed oil paints, were painted directly onto the canvas in short brush strokes, giving the impression of people; landscapes had softer edges and opened a new world of color, texture, and form in French art. Neo-Impressionist movements such as cubism and pointillism and their derivatives in the Impressionist movement are also briefly discussed. The narration is clear and names are spelled out on an ever-changing background of wondrous examples of the most famous French paintings. The only flaw in this production is that dates and movement names are not always displayed as well. This is an easy-to-understand introduction to Impressionism and the movements it inspired for media center collections and classes in high school and above.
–Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Approx. 30 Min. For Grades 9-12.