• The Pre-Impression: Oil Studies and Oil Sketches

  • Edouard Manet

  • Claude Monet

  • Berthe Morisot

  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir

  • Alfred Sisley

  • Edgar Degas

  • Vincent van Gogh and the Post-Impression

  • Checklist of Exhibited Paintings

    This exhibition occurred in the past. This website is available for informational purposes only.

    The Pre-Impression: Oil Studies and Oil Sketches

    The Impressionists were inspired by a long tradition of rapid painting in European art. Old Master oil sketches and open-air landscape paintings by Barbizon artists served as powerful precedents, even if such works were usually made as studies for highly finished and, indeed, slowly painted works. Pissarro's Study of a Sunset, Pointoise, although signed and dated, nevertheless has much in common with Corot's Well among the Dunes, a typical oil sketch from nature. In each case the artists applied paint quickly and loosely, their brushes loaded with pigment, to render a sensation of the scene such as the movement of wind through trees and clouds. The great innovation of the Impressionists was to elevate such quickly painted pictures to the status of the finished work of art, suitable for sale and exhibition.

    Camille Pissarro, Study of a Sunset, Pontoise
    Click to enlarge Camille Pissarro
    Study of a Sunset, Pontoise, 1877

    Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, Well Among the Dunes
    Click to enlarge Jean Baptiste Camille Corot
    Well Among the Dunes, c. 1854

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