Paris Impressionism : Let’s discover the greatest impressionist artists from the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Those painters have sublimated Paris.

What is Impressionism ?

Impressionism is a pictorial movement born from the association of artists from the second half of the 19th century living in France. Strongly criticized at its inception, this movement manifested itself in particular from 1874 to 1886 through public exhibitions in Paris, and marked the break with academic painting.

This pictorial movement is mainly characterized by small format paintings, visible brushstrokes, open composition, the use of unusual viewing angles, a tendency to note fleeting impressions, the mobility of climatic and luminous phenomena, rather than the stable and conceptual aspect of things, and to transfer them directly to the canvas.

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Charles Courtney Curran: In the Luxembourg (Garden)

Paris Impressionism and its painters

Painters were passionate about the city life : boulevards, streets and bridges, public gardens, halls and markets, department stores and windows, cafes, theaters and circuses, races, balls and social events …There are lots of artists to have represented Paris, the City of Lights and its inhabitants :

  • Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) – He is organizer of the Impressionist exhibitions of 1877, 1879, 1880 and 1882
  • Edouard Léon Cortès (1882-1969) – He spent his life painting the monuments and streets of the capital
  • Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) – He is a realistic and intimate painter, and French lithographer
  • Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) – French Post-Impressionist artist unappreciated until after his death, is now recognized
  • Albert Lebourg  (1849-1928), – Loved painting Paris and especially Notre Dame from all angles and in all seasons
  • Claude Monet (1840-1926) – Founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent practitioner of it
  • Edouard Manet (1832-1883) – He is a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism
  • Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) – Was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter
  • Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) – A French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style
  • Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) – French painter, printmaker, caricaturist and illustrator for the Moulin Rouge
  • Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) – Dutch post-impressionist painter who posthumously became famous
  • Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) – In 1864, Morisot exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris
  • Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) – The first woman painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts

Paris Impressionism and its museums

  • Orsay Museum

Orsay Museum is THE museum to visit if you are a fan of Paris Impressionism and its major painters. The story of the museum’s building is unusual. Located in the heart of Paris, along the Seine, facing the Tuileries Garden not too fear from the Louvre by walk, the museum is located in the former Orsay station, a building built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.

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The Musée d’Orsay is a national museum open to the public on December 9, 1986 to show, in all its diversity, the artistic creation of the Western world from 1848 to 1914. It was made up of national collections coming mainly from 3 Parisian museums :

    • the Louvre museum for the works of artists born from 1820, or emerging in the art world with the Second Republic
    • the Jeu de Paume museum dedicated since 1947 to Impressionism
    • the National Museum of Modern Art which only kept the works of artists born after 1870

Its collections present Western art from 1848 to 1914, in all its diversity: painting, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic art, photography, architecture, etc. It is one of the largest museums in Europe for this period.

  • Montmartre Museum

The Musée de Montmartre – Jardins Renoir is a French art museum located in Paris, in the 18th arrondissement. Inaugurated in 1960, it was reorganized from 2011 and gives several annual temporary exhibitions. A few steps from the Sacré-Coeur, the Montmartre museum and its gardens offer a haven of peace and greenery.

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Discover Suzanne Valadon’s workshop at The Musée de Montmartre. After living there until 1905 with her first husband, the banker Paul Moussis, Suzanne Valadon returned to the rue Cortot studio in 1912 and settled there with her son Maurice Utrillo and her companion, André Utter. Despite arguments with André Utter and escapades of her son, Suzanne Valadon spent the most productive years of her life there. The Musée de Montmartre gardens are inspired by masterpieces painted on site by Auguste Renoir.

Paris Impressionism and Giverny

Giverny is a lovely village in Normandy with at least one hour drive from Paris. French impressionist painter Claude Monet lived in his home at Giverny for 43 years, from 1883 to his death in 1926. The artist’s former home and elaborate gardens, where he produced his famed water lily series, are now the Fondation Claude Monet museum. Nearby, the Musée des impressionnismes Giverny highlights the Impressionist art movement.

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Paris Impressionism and Auvers-sur-Oise

Auvers-sur-Oise is a little town on the northwestern outskirts of Paris, France. It is located 27.2 km (16.9 mi) from Paris. On May 20, 1890, Vincent van Gogh took a pension for 3.50 francs a day at the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise. He lives in a modest 7m2 attic, bedroom No.5, lit by a simple skylight. On July 28 and 29, 1890, Theo van Gogh attended the last moments of his brother Vincent. By superstition, “the suicide room”, an essential part of the painter’s sensitive universe, has never been rented again.

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Church in Auvers-sur-Oise by Van Gogh

The famous painter indeed spent the last weeks of his life in this small village of Val-d’Oise. Vincent van Gogh only spent 70 days in Auvers-sur-Oise. This short stay was nevertheless extraordinarily prolific, since this picturesque site, its inhabitants and its surroundings inspired more than 70 works, of which we find today an evocation to the alleys of the village.

PARIS BY EMY provides you tailor made itinerary for each day of your stay according to your criteria, flexible on day and time for private tour guide, with private driver services for a custom made tour about Paris Impressionism.


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