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344
IMPRESSIONISM


shadows that are colours. A typical picture of this period is the “Musique aux Tuileries, " refused by the Salon of 1863. In this we have an actual out-of-doors scene rendered with a frankness and sharp taste of contemporary life surprising to contemporaries, with an elision of detail in the treatment of a. crowd and a seizing on the chief colour note and patch that characterize each figure equally surprising, an effort finally to render the total high-pitched gaiety of the spectacle as a banquet of sunlight and colour rather than a collection of separate dramatic groups.

For life of Edouard Manet (1832-1883) see Edmond Bazire, Manet (Paris, 1884). An idea of the state of popular feeling may be gained by reading Zola's eloquent defence in Mon Salon, which appeared in L'Ez'énement (1866) and Edouard Ivlanet (1867), both reprinted in Ales Haines (Paris, 1880). »The same author has embodied many of the impressionist ideals in Claude Lantier, the fictitious hero of L'(ZZut're. Other writers belonging to l/lanet's group are Théodore Duret, author of Les Peintres français en 1867 and Critique d'avun!- garde, articles and catalogue-prefaces reprinted 1885. See also, for Manet and others, ]. K. l-luysman's L'/lrt moderne (1883) and Certains. Summaries of the literature of the whole period will be found in R. Muther, The History of Modern Painting (tr. London, 1896), not always trustworthy in detail, and Miss R. G. Kingsley, A History of French Art (1899). For an interesting critical account see N. C. Brownell, French Art (1892).

The second period, to which the name is sometimes limited, is complicated by the emergence of new figures, and it is difficult as yet, and perhaps will always remain difficult, to say how much of originality belongs to each artist in the group. The main features are an intenser study of illumination, a greater variety of illuminations, and a revolution in facture with a view to pressing closer to a high pitch of light. Manet plays his part in this development, but we shall not be wrong probably in giving to Claude Monet (b. 1840) the chief role as the instinctive artist of the period, and to Camille. Pissarro (b. 1830) a very large part as a painter, curious in theory and experiment. Monet at the early date of 1866 had painted a picture as daring in its naive brutality of out-of-door illumination as the “ Déjeuner sur l'herbe.” But this picture has the breadth of patch, solidity and suavity of paste of Manet's practice. During the siege of Paris (1870-71) Monet and Pissarro were in London, and there the study of Turner's pictures enlarged their ideas of the pitch in lighting and range of effect possible in painting, and also suggested a new handling of colour, by small broken touches in place of the large fiowing touches characteristic of Manet. This method of painting occupied much of the discussion of the group that centred round Manet at the Café Guerbois, in the Batignolles quarter (hence called L'Ecole de Botignolles). The ideas were: (1) Abolition of conventional brown tonality. But all browns, in the fervour of this revolt, went the way of conventional brown, and all ready-made mixtures like the umbers, ochres, siennas were banished from the palette. Black itself was condemned. (2) The idea of the spectrum, as exhibiting the series of “ primary ” or “ pure ” colours, directed the reformed palette. Six colours, besides white, were admitted to represent the chief hues of the spectrum. (3) These colours were laid on the canvas with as little previous mixture on the palette as possible to maintain a maximum of luminosity, and were fused by touch on the canvas as little as possible, for the same reason. Hence the “broken ” character of the touch in this painting, and the subordination of delicacies of form and suave continuity of texture to the one aim of glittering light-and-colour notation. justification of these procedures was sought in occasional features of the practice of E. Delacroix, of Watteau, of J. B. Chardin, in the hatching's of pastel, the stipple of water-colour. With the ferment of theory went a parti pris for translating all effects into the upper registers of tone (cf. Ruskin's chapter on Turner's practice in M odcrn Painters), and for emphasizing the colour of shadows at the expense of their tone. The characteristic work of this period is landscape, as the subject of illumination strictly observed and followed through the round of the day and of the seasons. Other pictorial motives were subordinated to this research of effect, and Monet, with a haystack, group of poplars, or church front, has demonstrated the variety of lighting that the day and the season bring to a single scene. Besides Pissarro, Alfred Sisley (1840-1899) is a member of the group, and Manet continues his progress, influenced by the new ideas in pictures like “ Le Linge ” and “ Chez le Pere Lathuille." Edmond Degas (b. 1834), a severe and learned draughtsman, is associated with this landscape group by his curiosity in the expression of momentary action and the effects of artificial illumination, and by his experiments in broken colour, more particularly in pastel. The novelty of his matter, taken from unexplored corners of modern life, still more the daring and irony of his observation and points of view, and the strangeness of his composition, strongly influenced by japanese art, enriched the associations now gathering about the word “ impressionist.” Another name, that of Auguste Renoir (b. 1841), completes the leading hgures of the group. Any “ school ” programme would be strained to breaking-point to admit this painter, unless on the very general grounds of love of bright colour, sunlit places and independence of vision. He has no science of drawing or of tone, but wins a precarious charm of colour and expression.

The landscape, out-of-doors line, which unites in this period with Manet's line, may be represented by these names: ]. B. Corot, ]. B. jongkind, Boudin, Monet. l/lonet's real teacher was Eugene Boudin (1824-1898). (See Gustave Cahen's Eugene Boudtn, Paris, 1900). They, and others of the group, worked together in a painters colony at Saint Simeon, near Honfleur. It is usual to date the origin of plein-air painting, Le. painting out-of-doors, in an out-of-doors key of tone, from a picture Manet painted in the garden of de Nittis, just before the outbreak of war in 1870. This dates only Manet's change to the lighter key and looser handling. It was Monet who carried the practice to a logical extreme, working on his canvas only during the effect and in its presence. The method of Degas is altogether different, viz., a combination in the studio from innumerable notes and observations. It will be evident from what has been said above that impressionistic painting is an artistic ferment, corresponding to the scientific research into the principles of light and colour, just as earlier movements in paintinglcoincided with the scientific study of pers ective and anatomy. C evreul's famous book, already referred to, ge la lot du contrasts stmultarté des couleurs (1838), established certain laws of interaction for colours adjacent to one another. He still, however, referred the sensations of colour to the three impossible “ primaries " of Brewster-red, blue and yellow. The Young-Helmholtz theory affected the palette of the Impressionists, and the work of Ogden Rood, Colour (lnternat. Scientific Series, 1879-1881), published in English, French and German, furnished the theorists with formulae measuring the degradation of pitch suffered by pigments in mixture.

The Impressionist group (with the exception of Manet, who still fought for his place in the Salon) exhibited together for the first time as L'Exposition des lmpressionistes at Nadar's, Boulevard des Capucines, in 1874. They were then taken up by the dealer Durand-Ruel, and the succeeding exhibitions in 1876, 1877, 1879, ISSO, 1881, 1882 and 1886 were held by him in various galleries. The full history of these exhibitions, with the names of the painters, will be found in two Works: Félix-Fénéon, Les lmpressionistes en 1886 (Paris, 1886), and G. Geffroy, La Vie artistique (“ Histoire de l'impressionism, ” in vol. for 1894). See also G. Lecomte, L'A rt 'lmpressioniste d'GPfé3 la collection prlvée de M . Durand-Ruel (Paris, 1892); Duranty, La Peinture nouoelle (1876). Besides the names already cited, some others may be added: Madame Berthe Morisot, sister-in-law of Manet; Paul Cezanne, belonging to the Manet-Pissarro group; and, later, Gauguin. ]. F. Raiiaelli applied a “ characteristic ” drawing, to use his word, to scenes in the dismal suburbs of Paris; Forain, the satiric draughtsman, was a disciple of Degas, as also Zandomeneghi. Miss Mary Cassatt was his pupil. Caillebotte, who bequeathed the collection of Impressionist paintings now in the Luxembourg, was also an exhibitor; and Boudin, who linked the movement to the earlier schools.

The first exhibitions of the impressionists in London were in 1882 and 1883, but their fortunes there cannot be pursued in the present article, nor the history of the movement beyond its originators. This excludes notable figures, of which M. Besnard may be chosen as a. type. ..

In Manet's painting, even in the final stepshe took towards “la peinture claire, ” there is nothing of the “decomposition of tones ” that logically followed from the theories of his followers. He recognized the existence in certain illuminations of the violet shadow, and he adopted in open-air work a looser and more broken touch. The nature of his subjects encouraged such a handling, for the painter who attempts to note from nature the colour values of an elusive effect must treat form in a summary fashion, still more so when the material is in constant

movement like water. Moreover, in the river-side subjects