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When Impressionism broke the rules

29 mars 2016

Detail oriented and structured designs

"I paint what I see, not what others like to see". Edouard Manet’s words perfectly summarized the spirit of Impressionism. This revolutionary art movement from the second half of the 19th century is trying to get out of codes and strict rules set by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In the heart of a France led by the authoritarian regime of Napoleon III, whose cultural policy is focused entirely on the greatness of his empire, only are accepted by the public and critics historical or religious subjects. The attention to detail is important, the drawings are structured, the color is rarely taught and romantic painters like Delacroix also with realists like Courbet are praised.

A classic conception hustled

A new artistic movement, that will take the name of Impressionism in 1874, is born in France between 1860 and 1890. This pointedly turned his back on the "Official Art" imposed by the Academy, by claiming the color, the play of light in nature and in everyday life. Supported by a group of young Parisian painters led by Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Edouard Manet (1832-1883), this conception of painting does not seek to reproduce an object but to reproduce the sensations, impressions that give this item. Inspired by Japanese stamps, Impressionists fundamentally renew the themes of painting and reflect the contemporary world.

(Japonese stamps)

From critical to success

Far from getting unanimous, this movement arouses strong negative criticism from experts and the public hardly accepts this new painting style… considered as too new. Dismissed in front of these deemed coarse canvas, considered shapeless drafts, the public complains about a weakening of the art regretting painters like Delacroix and Gericault. Louis Leroy, an art critic, uses for the first time the term "impression" pejoratively to describe a painting by Monet, considering his work as incomplete, a simple sketch without realism. The story admit, that the group of painters have taken the Impressionists name after this virulent criticism.

(Impression soleil levant, Claude Monet, 1872)

Yet, over the exhibitions, including the famous “Salon des Refusés*”, the Impressionist movement is gradually becoming popular and even supported by writers like Emile Zola: "I write these articles just to demand that artists, who will certainly be masters of tomorrow, are not be persecuted today." The role played by Paul Durand-Ruel, art dealer and gallery manager in London, in the development of the Impressionist movement, is undeniable. Through exhibitions in London but also and especially in New York, the Impressionists are then recognized and valued at their fair value. Neo-Impressionism then succeeds to Impressionism to write a new page in the history of art.

(From the left to the right : La plage à Sainte-Adresse, Claude Monet, 1867 ; La repasseuse, Degas, 1869 ; La Grenouillère, Renoir, 1869 ; La Montagne Saint-Victoire, Cézanne, 1882)

* Refused at the Paris Salon Officiel whose jury is composed of members of the Academy of Fine Arts, many painters created the Salon des Refusés in 1863, inaugurated by Napoleon III.

Maurizio Galloro inspired by the light and Impressionism

Native from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Maurizio Galloro, the Carré d'artistes® artist of the week, joined the workshop of Francesco Gallo, called "INIS" at the age of 10 years. During fifteen years at his side, the Calabrian artist taught him to master the technique of oil painting, introduced him to the work of matter and of light, and immersed him in the universe of fine Arts.

Today in his own workshop, devoted to the oil painting, worked with a knife, Maurizio's paintings are fragments of history, "the path of [his] life." His artworks are performed from a monochrome of tones, mainly resulting from a palette of gray, sometimes accented with touches of bright color. Freely figurative, they show us urban scenes, where the perspective, the matter and the light are omnipresent. This work of composition, resolutely contemporary, is giving a full force to the created works of art. Passionate about pictorial art, his influences are going from the Impressionist painters (second half of the nineteenth century) to the "Light Masters" that are, for him, Michelangelo Merisi Da Caravaggio known as Caravaggio (1571-1610), the English painter and engraver William Turner (1775-1851) and the contemporary artist Pierre Soulages (born 1919).

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