Impressionism is a movement of art that emerged in 1870s France. Rejecting the rigid rules of the beaux-arts (“fine arts”), Impressionist artists showcased a new way to observe and depict the world in their work, foregoing realistic portrayals for fleeting impressions of their surroundings—which, often, were found outside.
Instead of painting in a studio, the impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by working quickly, in front of their subjects, in the open air (en plein air) rather than in a studio. This resulted in a greater awareness of light and color and the shifting pattern of the natural scene. Brushwork became rapid and broken into separate dabs in order to render the fleeting quality of light.
This new approach to painting diverged from traditional techniques, culminating in a movement that changed the course of art history.
Some of the greatest impressionist artists were Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, Edgar Degas, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot and Pierre Auguste Renoir. Manet influenced the development of impressionism.