Category Archives: Impressionism

Famous Historical Artists Who Loved Spring

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Your favorite season says a lot about you. For example, those who favor fall are often contented creatures who become excited by the simple pleasures of life. Summer lends itself to people who are outgoing and love to be with others. Winter is usually held dear by those who are introverted, pensive and prefer a good book to a wild party. Finally, Spring is often beloved by individuals who seek change, are creative and are deeply moved by beauty.

There are several famous historical artists who seemingly preferred Spring above all other seasons. This assumed preference is made evident in their multiple pieces of artwork featuring Spring-related themes. We like to believe Monet and Renoir adored Spring in all its glory.

Monet’s Paintings Reveal His Affinity for the Season of New Beginnings

images-2Artist Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) was more than just a founder of French Impressionist painting; he was also a lover of nature. The earth was Monet’s muse, and he obviously took great delight in painting Springtime scenes. One of his most famous Spring-related pieces is simply titled Le Printemps (the Spring) and was completed in 1886. The piece depicts two women dreamily sitting beneath a tree that is freshly blooming. Another is Le Printemps (auprès de Vétheuil), painted in 1880. This piece is simple and quite understated, though no less breathtaking than any of Monet’s works. Fields in Spring is another enchanting piece that features a parasol-covered lady drifting through a Springtime field filled with wildflowers. In all three paintings, many cool-toned colors are used, creating the effect of a refreshing Spring breeze. These paintings are just a small sampling of the Spring-themed works of art Monet created in his lifetime.

Renoir: Another Lover of Spring

imagesMonet wasn’t the only Impressionist painter to prefer the Spring season; Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) did also. Spring Bouquet is perhaps his most famed piece of Spring-themed artwork. Spring Bouquet, completed in 1866, appears more in-focus that our friend Monet’s artwork. This exquisite painting features crisp, cool colors that perfectly animate the flowers represented in the piece. Other beloved Spring-related works of art created by Renoir include Spring Landscape and Spring at Chatou (1872).

Speaking of historical artists, have you seen our new digital paint-by-number Historical Figures pattern sets? Designed for use on a smart phone or tablet, Historical Figures 1, 2 and 3 are cheap, amazingly fun, and bring art right to your fingertips. Check them out by downloading our FREE SegPlay Mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play. Use the comments section below to let us know how much you like these new patterns!

Of all the Spring-themed works of art mentioned in this article, which do you like best? Can you think of other famous historical artists who seemed to favor Springtime?

Claude Monet – Founder of French Impressionism

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

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Why Degas Loved Painting Dancers

Have you ever wondered why Degas loved painting dancers? Was he was captivated by the graceful movements ballerinas so perfectly execute? Did the excellence of their craft birthed from years of dedication to practice remind him of his own artistic journey? Thanks to historians and researchers, the answers to these questions are becoming demystified.

images-1Half of Degas’ Works are Centered Around Ballerinas

Known as “the painter of dancing girls,” Edgar Degas helped establish Impressionism. However, he preferred to be recognized as a realist painter. Early in his career Degas wanted to be a history painter, but in his thirties he became primarily a classical painter of modern life. At 39 years old, just a few years after his transition out of history painting, he began painting, sculpting and sketching dancers. Over half the works of Edgar Degas are inspired by ballet.

The Painter’s Love for Modern Realism and Classical Beauty Drew Him to Ballet

images-2It’s possible that Degas stumbled upon his obsession with ballet on account of sheer curiosity. According to Smithsonian Magazine’s Paul Trachtman, “At the ballet Degas found a world that excited both his taste for classical beauty and his eye for modern realism.” Trachtman goes on to explain that Degas spent time in the classrooms and wings of the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Ballet. It was in those wings and classrooms that the artist fell in love with ballet and “claimed (it) for modern art just as Cézanne was claiming the landscape.”

In addition to spending time in ballet classrooms and stage wings, the French painter also invited ballerinas into his personal studio where he could more easily sketch and paint them. The metmuseum.org’s article The Dancers and Degas explains, “Degas enjoyed drawing dancers’ movements, their colorful costumes, the sets, and the effects of the stage lights.”

It may have been Degas’ love for modern realism and classical beauty that initially drew him to ballet as a major form of artistic inspiration. However, his affinity for and engrossment with ballet itself was what anchored his interest in the subject for the rest of his career.

Degas Capitalized on a Despised Art Form

imagesJohn Richardson, writer for Vanity Fair, commented that at the time Degas’ obsession with ballet began, “The golden age of Romantic ballet was long since over…French ballet could hardly be considered an art form.” In some ways, ballet was despised in Degas’ time. Despite this (or perhaps because of this), Degas made ballerinas the central theme of his artwork. Although he did not depict ballet as glamorous (on the contrary, his artwork revealed the harsh realities of the grueling life of a dancer), his choosing of the ballerina as his primary source of inspiration did bring some type of honor to the then-underestimated art form.

It’s a good thing Degas took a notion to devote much of his life to painting ballerinas; his pictures of dancers were, are and will likely remain wildly popular. Obviously, the French painter pulled some heartstrings with his paintings, sculptures, prints, pastels, and pencil and chalk drawings of ballet-inspired subject matter. Perhaps there is something in Degas’ dancers that we recognize in ourselves.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Edgar Degas – Modern Artist, par excellence

Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

Art that Sells Broadway

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Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

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Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was a French Impressionist painter who painted scenes of urban and rural landscapes. He frequently used peasants and laborers as subject matters in his works.

Pissarro is most known for works to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism art. Pissarro studied with the famous master artists which include Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. In his later years, he worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac achieving a Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.CPI002

He is considered the father of impressionism mostly because of his mentoring relationships with Cézanne, Gauguin, Degas, and other impressionist artists of the times. Our SegPlayPC collection of 27 patterns contains a wide sampling of his art style.

Segmation SegPlayPC includes many recognizable Camille Pissarro works including Harvest at Montfoucault, Peasant Girl with a Straw Hat, Red Roofs, Apple Picking at Eragny-sur-Epte, Haymakers Resting, Boulevard Montmartre (afternoon sunshine and at night), The Shepherdess, Woman with Green Scarf, and Self-Portrait.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Pissarro

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Camille Pissarro

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The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

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Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a Dutch painter whose Post-Impressionist paintings laid the groundwork for Expressionism, influenced the Fauves and greatly affected 20th century art.
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He created more than 2,000 works, including 900 paintings, three of which make up the world’s ten most expensive pieces of art.

Van Gogh was born in 1853 in Groot-Zundert, a village in the southern Netherlands. His father was a minister and three of his uncles were art dealers, two vocations that were to pull Vincent in different directions at various times in his life.

In letters, Vincent has described his youth as “gloomy, cold and barren,” and he left school at 15. With the help of his uncle, he was offered a job with the art dealer Goupil & Cie, and in 1873 was sent to London and from there to Paris. After complaining repeatedly about the commoditisation of art, his job with the art dealership was terminated and Van Gogh returned to England to work as a teacher and minister’s assistant.

In 1879, after failing a course at a Protestant missionary school near Brussels, Van Gogh began a mission in the poor mining district of Borinage in Belgium. Choosing to live in the same poverty-stricken conditions as the local population, he was dismissed for “undermining the dignity of the priesthood” and returned home. His behaviour over the following months led his father to enquire about having Van Gogh committed to an asylum.
Aged 27, Van Gogh eventually took up the suggestion of his brother Theo, now a successful art dealer, to focus on painting. In 1880, he moved to Brussels and studied at the Royal Academy of Art.

Van Gogh’s first major work, The Potato Eaters, was painted in 1885 shortly after his father’s death. Like many of his early works, the painting used sombre colors, especially dark brown, a preference which would make his paintings difficult to sell; buyers’ tastes were now influenced by the bright tones used by the Impressionists.

His palette however, began to change after he moved to Antwerp in 1885. He studied color theory and began using carmine, cobalt and emerald green. But it was while living in Paris from 1886 to 1888, where he met Emile Bernard and Toulouse-Lautrec and came into close contact with Impressionist art, that Van Gogh’s art really began to develop.

He experimented with Pointillism and painted in the sunflower-rich region of Arles with the artist Gauguin. By late 1888 his behavior was becoming difficult however, and fearing that Gauguin was going to abandon him, he stalked the painter with a razor before cutting off his earlobe and giving it to a local prostitute, telling her to “keep this object carefully.” The following year, after suffering from hallucinations and believing that he was being poisoned, Van Gogh was placed in the mental hospital of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Arles.

By now, Van Gogh’s work was beginning to be recognized. The critic Albert Aurier called him a “genius,” and Monet declared that his work was the best in a major avant-garde Brussels art show.www.segmation.com

The beginnings of success did nothing to help Van Gogh’s depression though, nor did the intervention of the physician Dr. Paul Gachet. On July 27, 1890, he walked into a field, shot himself in the chest with a revolver and died two days later.

Although there has been much speculation about the nature of Van Gogh’s mental illness, he is now recognized as one of the world’s greatest artists and a bridge between 19th century Impressionism and 20th century art.

You can find a great collection of Vincent Van Gogh patterns to use with SegPlayPC ™ here: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternsets.asp#VVG.
Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh

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Camille Corot – French Landscape Artist


Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) was a French Landscape painter who had a strong influence on Impressionism. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century and his landscape style referenced a neo-classical style with a muted color palette. Many forgeries of Corot were created in the period 1870-1939, mostly because of his easy to imitate style. Our pattern set includes many examples of landscapes and portraits.

You’ll find “Woman with a Pear”, “The Bridge at Narmi”, “Meditation”, “Orpheus Leading Eurydice”, “Interrupted Reading”, “Recollections of Mortefontaine”, “A Windmill in Montmartre “, “The Letter”, ” Aqueducts in the Roman Campagna “, “Temple of Minerva Medica “, “Agostina”, and “Castel Gandolfo”. There are also several self portraits.

This set contains 50 paintable patterns.

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