Contextual Studies 2: The beginnings of Modern Art


General characterised by rapid, spontaneous, and loose brush strokes that capture fleeting moments.

Claude Monet (1840 -1926) is a famous French painter, born in Paris. He was most famous for the ‘Impressionist Movement’ and liked to paint the French landscapes. He studied under Jacques Francois who gave Monet his first drawing lessons. And was mentored by Eugene Boudin who taught him oil painting techniques, and how to paint outdoors. Liked to paint real life subjects with lots of different colours put on separately, letting the eye do the blending. In 1862 when Monet became a student at Charles Gleyre in Paris were he met Renoir, Alfred, and Sisley and from there they shared their unique painting techniques, later being know as the creators of Impressionism. Monet aimed to capture fleeting moments, and capturing the light at certain times.

Camille Picsarro (1831-1926), also a French impressionist painter, famous for Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism along with colleagues Paul Cezanne, and Paul Gauguin. Worked closely with Camille Corot, and Gustave Courbet, eventually falling in with Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) one of the leading French painters of impressionism. Inspired by Raphael, Velazquez, and Rubens. Influenced by Courbet when studying as a painter at Charles Gleyre, later encountered Monet and become impressionist painters.

First Impressionist Exhibition, 1977.

Monet Impression Sunrise, 1873

Impression Sunrise- Monet

Impression Sunrise- Monet

2. Gustave Courbet (1819 – 1877)

Created self portraits using a mirror as he could not afford to pay a model. His portraits were very smooth, accurate, and delicate almost representing a photograph. He aspired to paint pictures of ordinary people, like peasants, and the real world that were around him. Created his own academy called ‘The Pavilion of the Real’ and also specialised in nude subjects, a common classical subject.

The Stone Breakers (1849)

The Stone Breakers, 1849.

The Stone Breakers, 1849.

The Artist’s Studio (1855)

The Artist's Studio, 1855.

The Artist’s Studio, 1855.

Good Morning Mr Courbet (1854)

Good Morning Mr Courbet, 1854.

Good Morning Mr Courbet, 1854.

3. Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), French artist and  Post-Impressionist, painted abstract pictures that capture the view from multiple angles. He used angular straight lines with a square ended brush, later becoming an inspiration for Cubism artist’s.

Mont Sainte Victoire (1904/5) and (1906)


Mont Sainte Victoire, 1904/5 & 1906



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