Impress Your Inner Circle With Impressionism
We have all heard of impressionism and perhaps even attended a showing at a museum of the foremost impressionists, but does that mean we want to have an impressionist painting in our homes? Does it appeal to our sensibilities? Impressionism is a study of light and its effects on mostly everyday subjects: a group of commuters waiting at a train stop for their conveyance to take them away to the working world, a gaggle of schoolchildren at play in the release from classes called recess or a couple discovering that romance is in their future as they snuggle on a park bench, all scenes that we have encountered throughout our lives.
What impressionism does is portray not the picture-perfect clear outlines of such scenes that live in our memory, but the scattering of light upon a child’s face or a sprinkling of morning dew upon a neatly-trimmed park lawn. In a way, it makes perspective a mutable thing as an impressionist flattens the elements of a painting, the antithesis of searching for a vanishing point and horizon. This is a good thing for such a style, as many impressionist paintings are worked in the open air and not in the studio’s foreshortened gallery, where walls define the horizon. After all, how many of us have such a refined eye that they can discern a vanishing point while outdoors? Isn’t it something that changes with every new stance we take? Impressionism changed the face of the art world and for good reason, as it led artists away from the dictums of a traditional art school.
Impressionism enjoyed its heyday and then faded, leaving its footprint upon the new artists upcoming, even today. Modern impressionists emphasize the more urban aspects of our common life, in that industrial sites and railway yards have taken precedence over the more traditional rural or suburban scenes. The basis of the technique is still the effect of light on the subject, however, and the gleaming railways offer a foundation for a technique that captures the light reflecting off steel rails and the railroad cars gliding upon them. For the modern collector, this sub-genre under the general rubric ‘impressionism’ may suit his tastes better or at least be more familiar, for in our modern age few people have the rural background to appreciate an impressionist painting of a haystack, for example.
Now that you’ve decided upon impressionism as the focal point of your purchase, you will want to frame it for protection. Hung well away from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun streaming through a window, a framed painting will withstand all accidental jostling, while fingerprints are just a spritz of a gentle cleaner away from being removed. A painting that is formal will cry out for a golden frame and heavy glass glazing, but an impressionist’s work has the casual cachet of the more relaxed style of art and a simple frame will do, or perhaps no frame at all, the painting hung by its stretchers upon a simple hook. Of course, you will want to hang it up high enough so that curious and admiring children will not be tempted to literally point out its wonders!