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The Influence That Impressionist Art Has Today

Impressionist art lessons.
Image Credit – T. Kingfisher/

Since its beginnings over 150 years ago, Impressionism remains a highly influential and popular style of painting. Artists like French Impressionist painter Claude Monet continue to inspire young artists today across various forms of art, design and digital media. Let’s examine some of the ways this movement is still relevant today.

How Impressionist Art Is Still Influential Today

Impressionism was a groundbreaking approach to art that emerged in the 1860s. Unlike the formal conventions of classical art, Impressionism emphasized capturing the transient effects of light and color.

Modern Art and Photography

Characteristics of Impressionism such as loose brush strokes and painting outside in natural light are common today. From painting to photography, the vision of many artists (in contrast with the realist style) is to portray a fleeting moment.

We looked at Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” in a recent art lesson for children. The sense of depth and movement in this series of paintings is common throughout modern painting and architecture. By focusing on fluidity and movement artists can bring vibrancy into their work.

Architecture and Design

Modern architecture often attempts to integrate buildings into nature and the surrounding natural elements. Popular urban environments are frequently praised for their ability to complement the natural setting.

Our second Claude Monet art lesson for kids focused on the iconic “Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies” painting. The painting perfectly captures the blend of a manufactured structure fitting into nature. This influence is still referenced in the work of creators from architects to designers to this day.

Dance and Performance Art

Many performances carry echoes of Impressionism in their work, and can be seen in depicting people in everyday settings to unconventional compositions and atmospheric storytelling. The worlds of dance and performance art are examples of art forms where mood and atmospherics convey emotion differently than the precision of alternative styles.

In our lesson on French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas we examined his portrayals of ballet dancers. Using off-center compositions and fluid movement, Degas captured the vibrancy of dancers – an approach still common in art, advertising and performance.

Illustrations and Interior Design

Prior to the Impressionist movement, illustrations and portraits tended to be staged and more formal. In contrast, the Impressionist painters wanted to add more emotion, warmth and authenticity through their portrayal of light and movement.

Our Mary Cassatt art lesson looked at how this American Impressionist painter depicted children and their families in more natural surroundings. Modern illustrations, portraits and even animation are still inspired by the natural, emotional approach of this earlier period. In addition, the soft, pastel tones are found everywhere today, from paintings to interior design.

Watch Free Art Lessons Inspired by Impressionist Painters

At Golden Road Arts, we have a variety of art lessons inspired by Impressionist artists as well as other popular styles. Browse our content for art literacy and instructional tutorials for children. Watch free art lessons now.

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