Impressionism or Post-Impressionism? (studio 2)

Upon doing some research on a Van Gogh and watching someone create an impressionist painting I saw a comment that someone had written saying that this in fact was not impressionism and that it was post-impressionism, so it got me thinking, what is the difference between these two?

Claude Monte, Impression, Sunrise, 1873. Paul Cézanne, The Banks of the Marne, 1888.

Impressionism began early in the 1870’s, starting with Claude Monte. Claire Fuller (2015) says that Monte was truly the founding father of impressionism as it was merely named after his painting Impression, Sunrise. Of course they did not call themselves impressionists, they referred to themselves as The Anonymous Society of Artists, Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers (Brodskaia, ). Most of the impressionists had a shared goal of being modern artists and they all followed the technique paved by Monet of immediate perception, rejecting the romantic ideals and driving towards painting a modern reality (Fuller, 2015). Impressionism is made up of artists like Frédéric Bazille, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Mary Cassatt.

Edgar Degas, Woman Combing her Hair, 1888-1890. Alfred Sisley, Avenue of Chestnut Trees at La Celle-Saint-Cloud, 1867.

Now on to Post-Impressionism, made up of artists such as Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat. In Fuller’s (2015) post she states that “Impressionism is the child of Realism (modern life) and Naturalism (objectivity), while Post-Impressionism is the fusion of Impressionism (modern technique) and Romanticism (subjectivity).” Post-Impressionists desires are to move beyond Impressionism, the immediate perception is dismissed and the artist uses their own personal and unique view of their surroundings and this altered expression is done with the use of medium. Post-Impressionism gave viewers of art a role of interpreting the art, rather than having them just passively observing them.

Paul Cézanne, Harlequin, 1888-1889. Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889.

Although I can appreciate both style of art movements, the post-impression would have to be my chosen out of the two. I like how they interpret their scenes and object how they want to interpret it, not just an actual representation of what is being seen in front of the viewer.


Brodskai︠a︡, N. Impressionism.

Fuller, C. (2015). Impressionism vs Post-Impressionism: What’s the Difference?. Retrieved from


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