Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

with absolute fairness and as much indulgence as was compatible with his duty.”

See E. B. Impey, Sir Elijah Impey (1846); and Sir James Stephen, The Story of Nuncomar and the Impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey (1885).

IMPHAL, the capital of the state of Manipur (q.v.) in eastern Bengal and Assam, on the north-east frontier of India, situated at the confluence of three rivers. Pop. (1901) 67,903. It is really only a collection of villages buried amid trees, with a clearing containing the palace of the raja, the cantonments, and the houses of the few European residents.

IMPLEMENT (Lat. implementum, a filling up, from implere, to fill), in ordinary usage, a tool, especially in the plural for the set of tools necessary for a particular trade or for completing a particular piece of work (see Tools). It is also the most general term applied to the weapons and tools that remain of those used by primitive man. The Late Lat. implementum, more usually in the plural, implementa, was used for all the objects necessary to stock or “fill up” a house, farm, &c.; it was thus applied to furniture of a house, the vestments and sacred vessels of a church, and to articles of clothing, &c. The transition to the necessary outfit of a trade, &c., is easy. In its original Latin sense of “filling up,” the term survives in Scots law, meaning full performance or “fulfilment” of a contract, agreement, &c.; “to implement” is thus also used in Scots law for to carry out, perform.

IMPLUVIUM, the Latin term for the sunk part of the floor in the atrium of a Greek or Roman house, which was contrived to receive the water passing through the compluvium (q.v.) of the roof. The impluvium was generally in marble and sunk about a foot below the floor of the atrium.

IMPOSITION (from Lat. imponere, to place or lay upon), in ecclesiastical usage, the “laying on” of hands by a bishop at the services of confirmation and ordination as a sign that some special spiritual gift is conferred, or that the recipient is set apart for some special service or work. The word is also used of the levying of a burdensome or unfair tax or duty, and of a penalty, and hence is applied to a punishment task given to a schoolboy. From “impose” in the sense of “to pass off” on some one, imposition means also a trick or deception. In the printing trade the term is used of the arrangement of pages of type in the “forme,” being one of the stages between composing and printing.

IMPOST (through the O. Fr. from Lat. impositum, a thing laid upon another; the modern French is impôt), a tax or tribute, and particularly a duty levied on imported or exported merchandise (see Taxation, Customs Duties, Excise, &c.). In architecture, “impost” (in German Kaempfer) is a term applied in Italian to the doorpost, but in English restricted to the upper member of the same, from which the arch springs. This may either be in the same plane as the arch mould or projecting and forming a plain band or elaborately moulded, in which case the mouldings are known as impost mouldings. Sometimes the complete entablature of a smaller order is employed, as in the case of the Venetian or Palladian window, where the central opening has an arch resting on the entablature of the pilasters which flank the smaller window on each side. In Romanesque and Gothic work the capitals with their abaci take the place of the impost mouldings.

IMPOTENCE (Lat. impotentia, want of power), the term used in law for the inability of a husband or wife to have marital intercourse. In English matrimonial law if impotence exists in either of the parties to a marriage at the time of its solemnization the marriage is voidable ab initio. A suit for nullity on the ground of impotence can only be brought by the party who suffers the injury. Third persons—however great their interest—cannot sue for a decree on this ground, nor can a marriage be impeached after the death of one of the parties. The old rule of the ecclesiastical courts was to require a triennial cohabitation between the parties prior to the institution of the suit, but this has been practically abrogated (G. v. G., 1871, L.R. 2 P.C.D. 287). In suits for nullity on the ground of impotence, medical evidence as to the condition of the parties is necessary and a commission of two medical inspectors is usually appointed by the registrar of the court for the purpose of examining the parties; such cases are heard in camera. In the United States impotence is a ground for nullity in most states. In Germany it is recognized as a ground for annulment, but not so in France.

IMPRESSIONISM. The word “Impressionist” has come to have a more general application in England than in France, where it took currency as the nickname of a definite group of painters exhibiting together, and was adopted by themselves during the conflict of opinion which the novelty of their art excited. The word therefore belongs to the class of nicknames or battle-names, like “Romanticist,” “Naturalist,” “Realist,” which preceded it, words into which the acuteness of controversy infuses more of theoretical purport than the work of the artists denoted suggests to later times. The painters included in such a “school” differ so much among themselves, and so little from their predecessors compared with the points of likeness, that we may well see in these recurring effervescences of official and popular distaste rather the shock of individual force in the artist measured against contemporary mediocrity than the disturbance of a new doctrine. The “Olympia” of Manet, hooted at the Salon of 1865 as subversive of all tradition, decency and beauty, strikes the visitor to the Luxembourg rather as the reversion to a theme of Titian by an artist of ruder vision than as the demonstration of a revolutionary in painting. Later developments of the school do appear to us revolutionary. With this warning in a matter still too near us for final judgment, we may give some account of the Impressionists proper, and then turn to the wider significance sometimes given to the name.

The words Impressioniste, Impressionisme, are said to have arisen from a phrase in the preface to Manet’s catalogue of his pictures exhibited in 1867 during the Exposition Universelle, from which he was excluded. “It is the effect,” he wrote, “of sincerity to give to a painter’s works a character that makes them resemble a protest, whereas the painter has only thought of rendering his impression.” An alternative origin is a catalogue in which Claude Monet entitled a picture of sunrise at sea “Une Impression.” The word was probably much used in the discussions of the group, and was caught up by the critics as characteristic.[1] At the earlier date the only meaning of the word was a claim for individual liberty of subject and treatment. So far as subject went, most, though not all of Manet’s pictures were modern and actual of his Paris, for his power lay in the representation of the thing before his eye, and not in fanciful invention. His simplicity in this respect brought him into collision with popular prejudice when, in the “Déjeuner sur l’herbe” (1863), he painted a modern fête champêtre. The actual characters of his painting at this period, so fancifully reproached and praised, may be grouped under two heads. (1) The expression of the object by a few carefully chosen values in flattish patches. Those patches are placed side by side with little attenuation of their sharp collision. This simplification of colour and tone recalls by its broad effects of light and silhouette on the one hand Velasquez, on the other the extreme simplification made by the Japanese for the purposes of colour-printing. Manet, like the other painters of his group, was influenced by these newly-discovered works of art. The image, thus treated, has remarkable hardiness and vigour, and also great decorative breadth. Its vivacity and intensity of aspect is gained by the sacrifice of many minor gradations, and by the judgment with which the leading values have been determined. This matching of values produces, technically, a “solid” painting, without glazing or elaborate transparency in shadows. (2) During this period Manet makes constant progress towards a fair, clear colour. In his early work the patches of blond colour are relieved against black shadows; later these shadows clear up, and in place of an indeterminate brown sauce we find

  1. Mr H. P. Hain Friswell has pointed out that the word “impression” occurs frequently in Chevreul’s book on colour; but it is also current among the critics. See Ruskin’s chapter on Turner’s composition “impression on the mind.”