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impressionism

[im-presh-uh-niz-uh m] /ɪmˈprɛʃ əˌnɪz əm/
noun
1.
Fine Arts.
  1. (usually initial capital letter) a style of painting developed in the last third of the 19th century, characterized chiefly by short brush strokes of bright colors in immediate juxtaposition to represent the effect of light on objects.
  2. a manner of painting in which the forms, colors, or tones of an object are lightly and rapidly indicated.
  3. a manner of sculpture in which volumes are partially modeled and surfaces roughened to reflect light unevenly.
2.
a theory and practice in literature that emphasizes immediate aspects of objects or actions without attention to details.
3.
a late-19th-century and early-20th-century style of musical composition in which lush harmonies, subtle rhythms, and unusual tonal colors are used to evoke moods and impressions.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85; impression + -ism; compare German Impressionismus, French impressionnisme
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for impressionism
  • impressionism is making a comeback thanks to pictures that have been out of the market for decades.
  • In the previous activity students encountered images representative of realism and impressionism.
  • Her own work, rather than relying on the spontaneity of impressionism, was based on careful drawing and rigorous composition.
British Dictionary definitions for impressionism

impressionism

/ɪmˈprɛʃəˌnɪzəm/
noun
1.
(often capital) a movement in French painting, developed in the 1870s chiefly by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley, having the aim of objectively recording experience by a system of fleeting impressions, esp of natural light effects
2.
the technique in art, literature, or music of conveying experience by capturing fleeting impressions of reality or of mood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impressionism
n.

1839 as a term in philosophy, from impression + -ism. Specifically with reference to the French art movement from 1882, from impressionist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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impressionism in Culture

impressionism definition


A style of painting associated mainly with French artists of the late nineteenth century, such as Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Impressionist painting seeks to re-create the artist's or viewer's general impression of a scene. It is characterized by indistinct outlines and by small brushstrokes of different colors, which the eye blends at a distance. Soft, pastel colors appear frequently in impressionist paintings.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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