Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Impressionism

Impressionism, a school of art which has grown into importance since the exhibition of the works of Manet and his disciples held in Paris in 1867. The whole theory and practice of the Impressionists are based on a single principle - viz. that the artist should aim merely at producing a faithful record of the impression made on his own mind by the scene or object he depicts. This he will fail to do if he allows himself to be guided by the traditions of previous schools, or if his rendering of sensuous effects is dominated by some ulterior purpose of a moral, imaginative, or emotional character. There is no reason even why, in his choice of subjects, he should discriminate between the beautiful and the ugly, since this is a conventional and arbitrary distinction for which there is no warrant in Nature herself. From the preceding account it will be seen that Impressionism occupies much the same place in the history of modern art that Realism does in that of literature. Its chief exponent in England is Mr. J. M. Whistler, but it is now represented also by a more advanced group, the "London Impressionists," who held an exhibition of their works at the Goupil Gallery in London in 1889. Several of Monet's works were also exhibited at the Goupil Gallery in the same year.