IMPRESSIONISM
A painting technique in which the artist concentrates on the changing effects of light and color. Often this style can be characterized by its use of discontinuous brush strokes and heavy impasto

The term, first used derisively, was derived from the title of a painting exhibited in 1874 by Monet. He exhibited the work independently of the official Salon in Paris, along with artists such as Renoir, Cezanne and Pissarro.

'Impressionism' subsequently became widely used to describe the type of painting practised by this group of artists, who exhibited together eight times up until 1886. They usually worked rapidly, in front of their subjects, often in the open air rather than in a studio, and took full advantage of the technical advances being made in the manufacture of artists' materials. Their characteristic broken or flickering brush work was particularly effective in capturing the fleeting quality of light. They tended to be attracted to similar subjects, namely aspects of modern urban life and landscapes.

Additional Source: National Gallery (London)
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