Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Modern Art - Impressionism

Madrid for kids

Monet stayed at the Savoy Hotel in London and would paint the Waterloo Bridge in the morning and the Charing Cross Bridge in the afternoon.  Later in the day, he would leave the hotel and go to St.  Thomas' Hospital from which he would paint the Houses of Parliament at sunset, the most celebrated paintings in the series.  Monet painted the same view over and over again and yet no painting is the same.  With every moment the light changes everything except the solid objects changes.  The sun moves behind a cloud, a fog rolls in etc.

Impressionism heralds the beginning of Modern Art
What invention in 1841 do you think freed artists like Monet from working in their studios?
a. easel
b. portable tent like studio
c. paint in a tube
d. mobile phone

characteristics of impressionism
small, broken brushtrokes to simulate the effects of light
painted 'plein-air' ie.  outdoors
unmixed pigments
textured paints, emphasis on atmosphere not details

The paint tube was invented in 1841 and artists could paint away from the studio.  Before the invention of the paint tube, artists needed to grind each pigment and store them in leather receptacles or even pig bladders.  Imagine that! Now artists could work outside in direct sunlight or misty fog, at twilight or at dawn.  So important was the invention of the paint tube, that it is credited with the rise of the Impressionists.  In fact, Renoir once said 'Without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.'




I so love London! But I only love it in the winter.  It's nice in the summer, but nothing like it is in winter with the fog, for without the fog London wouldn't be a beautiful city.  It's the fog that gives it its magnificent breadth.  Those massive, regular blocks become grandiose within that mysterious cloak

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