Art History 101

Highlights From New Impressionist Paintings

In a reaction against realism, Impressionism was born in the late 19th century, spurred on by the rapidly transforming urban environment of Paris.

Impressionist painters, including Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, took to their canvases and painted subjects taken from newly modern life. Attempting to capture how we see as opposed to what we see, these artists used spontaneous brushstrokes and a vibrant color palette to depict the changing qualities of shifting light. As portable cameras became more accessible, thus photography becoming more popular, the concept of a ‘snapshot’ inspired impressionist to relax boundaries between the elements of subject and background, eschewing traditional composition of commanding, central subjects.

‘The Rue Mosnier with Flags’ by Claude Manet, 1878. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Initially rejected by the conservative art community, the term ‘Impressionism’ was coined by Louis Leroy, an art critic for the Parisian newspaper, Le Charivari. However, the public eagerly embraced the modernity of impressionist style, and artists around the world began to identify as practitioners as the influence spread. Successive generations of artists were inspired by and reacted against the movement, such as the Post Impressionists like Van Gogh, and Expressionists like Wassily Kandinsky.

Artists today continue to be inspired by the Impressionist movement, including 3 notable Saatchi Art artists:

Sandy Dooley

‘Pink Autum’ by Sandy Dooley via Saatchi Art

Sandy Dooley is an impressionist painter based in Kent, England. Spontaneous paint splatter and vibrant hues characterize Dooley’s harmonious landscapes, inspired by memories of growing up in the countryside. Dooley received her BFA from Central St Martins School of Art, and her works have been featured by the BBC, the Saturday telegraph, and Saatchi Art’s catalogue several years running. She has exhibited at galleries and art fairs across the UK including The Other Art Fair London, The Affordable Art Fair, and Pond Gallery. Her works are held in notable corporate collections, including the Boston Consulting Group, and private collections in US, UK, Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Sweden, and Romania, among others. 

Vahe Yeremyan

Armenian artist living in Southern California, Vahe Yeremyan applies a loose impressionist style in his oil painting practice. With a BFA and MFA in painting, and a PhD in Art Therapy and Psychology, Yeremyan has won numerous awards for his work including 1st Place in“ The Best Color” Category, by the National Museum, Republic of Armenia and the Grand prize in “Armenian Impressionists” bestowed upon him by the Armenian Embassy in Moscow. He has exhibited in juried exhibitions and shows across the US and Europe, including Oil Painters of America’s National Show in 2013. A best selling artist on Saatchi Art, Yeremyan’s works are held in private collection in countries such as US, UK, UAE, Canada, Australia, Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, Italy, and Spain.

Gille Bustamante

Based in Sussex, Gille Bustamante’s practice is centered on a desire to create works that . Working primarily in oils, Bustamante’s land and seascapes are influenced by impressionism, expressionism, art deco and art nouveau. With a B.A. Honors in Fine Art from Brighton University, Bustamante has exhibited extensively across the United Kingdom, including at the Sheffield Park National Trust. Her works have been acquired by private collectors in Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Hungary, Taiwan, US, UK, Sweden, Canada, Italy and Netherlands.

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About the Author

Monty Preston is the Assistant Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at saatchiart.com/artadvisory.