Monday, August 7, 2017

Decorate Your Walls With Impressionist Prints Depicting Works By American Artists

By Michelle Powell

If you are decorating a new house or redecorating one you already own, deciding what to put on the walls is important. You may be concerned that original artwork is too expensive. If this is the case, you can always decorate with interesting and attractive reproductions, like Impressionist prints. It is also possible to display work done by Americans during this period. Your guests may be surprised to learn that there was an American Impressionist movement.

The works you choose will be much more special if you learn something about the period which they represent. Impressionism, for instance, is considered to have been introduced to America by John Breck. After visiting France, he opened his first Boston exhibit at the end of the nineteenth century. Frank Benson painted in the French open air style as did William Chase. Chase established what is today Parsons School of Design.

Childe Hassam, the most famous of the American Impressionists, painted in watercolor and oil. His street scenes of flags flying over New York City during the Second World War showcase his style of painting utilizing vivid colors and broken brush strokes. This style is similar to Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro of France.

Although male painters dominated the art scene, Mary Cassatt, and her painting of everyday occurrences in the lives of women are still admired today. Some of her most famous works are intimate scenes of mothers interacting with their little children. A native of Pennsylvania, she traveled to France early on and caught the attention of Edgar Degas. He invited her to show her work with leading French Impressionists.

James Whistler, the great painter best known to many for the painting familiarly referred to as Whistler's Mother, spent a great deal of time in France. He became lifelong friends with Monet. Whistler, not interested in copying the style of the French Impressionists, developed his own. Instead of vivid color he preferred more muted tones and scenes depicting everyday life.

If guests, studying your prints, ask about the difference between French and American Impressionism, you might tell them that although painters on both sides of the Atlantic had an interest in landscapes and interiors, the American subject matter is distinct and recognizable as America. Many of the American Impressionists were fascinated with the New England coastline.

Although artists all over the country were members of this movement, it was concentrated in the northeast section of the United States. A number of painters, including Childe Hassam and John Singer Sargent, worked on Ironbound Island, Maine. The Blaney family, great art patrons, owned the land and made artists from everywhere welcome there.

Once you decide which artists, subject matter, color palettes, and styles you like the best, looking for reproductions that reflect them becomes a lot of fun, even though it can be challenging. You don't have to choose the most famous paintings by individual artists. You may find you like the lesser known works the best.

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