Arts Everyday Living: Escaping Social Distancing—In Love with Impressionism!




Winter is almost here in the northern hemisphere so why not escape into the always inviting world of  Impressionism.  For this Art Circle blog, the Impressionists will be featured including the members of the revolutionary group who held their first of eight exhibitions in Paris, beginning in 1874. Among the initial participants were French masters Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Berthe Morisot.  However, American artists Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, and Frank Weston Benson also contributed to the popular movement, characterized by the vivid colors, radiant light, and energetic brushstrokes that still enchant us today.


Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), A Box at the Theater (At the Concert), 1880, oil on canvas, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA


To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes, pretty!  There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir


So well composed for us to enjoy the beautiful female dressed for a night out…the gowns’ details and the flowers as well as the glorious hairdos.  This has a soothing, contented mood.  Rich colors and such vivid subjects…he must have known them well.  What an appropriate quotation…he certainly knows about “pretty!”

Daena Kluegel


Claude Monet (1840-1926), Alley of Fir Trees at Varengeville, 1882, oil on canvas, Private Collection


But what an eye Monet has, the most prodigious eye since painting began! I raise my hat to him.

Paul Cezanne about Claude Monet


The sky is a signature of the artist.  he gives us shadow and perspective in the landscape.  This quotation is also perfect fit!  It’s a meaningful compliment from a fellow artist.

Daena Kluegel


Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Ballet Dancers on the Stage, 1883, pastel on paper, Dallas Museum, Dallas, Texas


People call me the painter of dancing girls.  It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.

Edgar Degas


He has captured the energy of the dancers as they practice…he pictures their concentration on form and gestures for their performance.  The red hair draws us into the scene as does the diagonal focus which seems to invite the viewer to enter.  Another great quotation…He does describe his own art!

Daena Kluegel

I love how Degas’ dancer’s red hair pops out among the gold and blue of costumes and the expressive arms of the dancers.

Kay Oshel



Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), The Cradle, 1872, oil on canvas, Musee D’Orsay, Paris, France


The touch, sure and light, is fixing something of the passing moment…memory is the true, imperishable life.

Berthe Morisot


She captures maternal love so beautifully.  The net on the cradle and on the window help to frame the mother figure.  The mother and child are so delicately depicted.  The quotation is apt.  How appropriate is meaning to the quality of life.

Daena Kluegel

I like the mixture of whites and black….the black diagonal from the upper right to lower left….the sharp white of the baby’s outfit with the softer whitish-blue-grey of the cradle veil and the curtains behind…how the woman is veiled by the curtains like the baby in the cradle.

Kay Oshel


Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Lilacs in a Window, 1879, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York


Mary Cassatt has infinite talent!

Edgar Degas of Mary Cassatt


I really enjoy the wonderful and warm colors and the light coming from the window that defines the lush lilacs.  I agree with the quotation of Degas about the talent of Mary Cassatt!  A high compliment.

Daena Kluegel


Childe Hassam (1859-1935), Sunset at Sea, 1911, oil on canvas, Private Collection


And the sunset itself on such waves of ether

That I can’t just comprehend

Whether it is the end of the day, the end of the world,

Or the mysteries of mysteries in me again.

Anna Akhmatova (1899-1966)


Such vivid depiction of the sunset as reflected in the water….it is perfected by that lone vessel in the distance.  That poem by Akhmatova fits the painting perfectly.  I agree with this poet!

Daena Kluegel


Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951), Summer, 1909, oil on canvas, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island


I follow the light, where it comes from, where it goes.

Frank Weston Benson


This is a charming summer scene.  Are the lovely ladies friends or family?  All are clad in dainty white frocks and are enjoying summer by the sea.  It is a lovely scene on the hill above the ocean.  He certainly achieved what is quoted….following the light!



, , ,