Art History

July 8, 2018

How the Groundbreaking Realism Movement Revolutionized Art History

In the middle of the 19th century, artists in Europe adopted a new style of art: Realism. Characterized by unprecedented attention to everyday subject matter, this art movement transformed the western art world. Though, today, this interest in ordinary iconography may not seem noteworthy, it marked a major shift in the history of art. Here, we explore the contributions of its pioneers in order to understand just why it was so significant. What is Realism?

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June 8, 2018

The Story Behind Renoir’s Impressionist Masterpiece ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’

For centuries, viewers have been captivated by Luncheon of the Boating Party, an Impressionist masterpiece by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In addition to its refined brushwork and eye-catching color palette, the piece is celebrated for simultaneously showcasing Renoir's three signature subjects: portraiture, still-life depictions, and en plein air settings. The Painting At 51″ x 68″, Luncheon of the Boating Party is one of Renoir's largest paintings. It was painted in 1881 and shown at the Seventh Impressionist Exhibition the following year, where it was overwhelmingly praised by critics.

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May 31, 2018

How Artists Have Kept Still Life Painting Alive Over Thousands of Years

Edouard Manet once called still life “the touchstone of painting.” Characterized by an interest in the insentient, this genre of art has been popular across movements, cultures, and periods, with major figures like Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso sharing the Impressionist artist‘s view. Here, we explore the age-old genre, tracing its history and looking at well-known works to answer the questions: what is still life painting, and how has it evolved over time?

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May 20, 2018

Degas’ Dancers: How Ballerinas Inspired the Iconic Impressionist Artist

No matter how many muses inspired them, certain Impressionist artists are associated with a single, signature subject. From Claude Monet‘s Water Lilies to the mother-daughter relationships captured by Mary Cassatt, each theme offers viewers a glimpse into the artist's interests, influences, and experiences. While most Impressionists opted to explore their favorite subjects only in oils, French artist Edgar Degas took it a step further, rendering his beloved ballerinas in paint, pastel, pencil, ink, and even wax.

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