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Lordship Lane station, Dulwich

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The First Impressionist Show

Jules-Antoine Castagnary (1830-1888) was a politician and art critic, and like Zola, a proponent of Naturalism. In his review of the first Impressionist show, in 1874, he coined the term 'impressionist'.

"The common view that brings these artists together in a group and makes of them a collective force within our disintegrating age is their determination not to aim for perfection, but to be satisfied with a certain general aspect. Once the impression is captured, they declare their role finished. The term Japanese, which was given them first, made no sense. If one wishes to characterize and explain them with a single word, then one would have to coin the word impressionists. They are impressionists in that they do not render a landscape, but the sensation produced by the landscape. The word itself has passed into their language: in the catalogue the Sunrise by Monet is called not landscape, but impression. Thus they take leave of reality and enter the realms of idealism."

Jules Castagnary, Le Siecle, April 29 1874

Impressionism
Gombrich on Impressionism
Gelée Blanche

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Impression - Sunrise

Monet (Musee Marmottan)

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