The Impressionists
'Reading' by Berthe Morisot is an Impressionist painting.

The Impressionists

This quiz addresses the requirements of the National Curriculum KS3 in Art and Design for children aged 11 to 14 in years 7 to 9. Specifically this quiz is aimed at the section dealing with understanding art movements and their influence on the world, and it focusses in particular on Impressionism and the Impressionist Movement.

In KS3 children will learn how to critically appraise historical works of art, as well as understand the influence ancient movements have had on art today.

The term 'Impressionist' was first used as an insult in response to an exhibition of new paintings in Paris in 1874. A diverse group of painters, rejected by the art establishment, defiantly set up their own exhibition. They included Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Degas. The insult stuck and their work became known as Impressionism.

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Most people today are familiar with Impressionist art and would perhaps describe it by referring to both the subject matter and the technique. Landscapes, and scenes from modern urban and suburban life painted in bright, pure colours were typical of the movement and many famous examples have been reproduced around the world.

Impressionists often began (and sometimes completed) their paintings outdoors rather than in a studio. Their rapidly applied brushstrokes are often visible. The paintings by the founders of the movement are so well-known and loved, it is hard to imagine how much of a storm they created in their day!

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Try this quiz to get an 'Impression' of how much you know about Impressionism!

Click on the pictures for a closer look.

  1. Why was this painting, 'Luncheon on the Grass' by Édouard Manet, aggressively rejected by the art jurors of the time?
    While nudes were accepted in historical and allegorical paintings, Manet was condemned for placing a realistic nude in a contemporary setting
  2. Edgar Degas favoured a particular subject. What was it?
    Degas is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. This one is called 'Ballet Rehearsal'
  3. Mary Cassatt, a female Impressionist, painted mainly which subject matter?
    She paid particular attention to the bond between a woman and her children. This painting is of her sister, Lydia
  4. This is the painting which inspired the name of the movement. What is is called?
    The painting, 'Impression Sunrise', is by Claude Monet and was shown at what would later be known as the "Exhibition of the Impressionists" in April 1874
  5. Which of the following is not a technique employed by the Impressionists?
    These methods, along with others, had been used before but the Impressionists put them together for the first time. This piece, 'Terrace at Sainte-Adresse' by Monet, shows them all
  6. Which period immediately followed Impressionism?
    During the 1880s several artists began to develop different precepts for the use of colour, pattern, form, and line, derived from the Impressionist example. This piece is 'The Midday Nap' by the post-impressionist Paul Gauguin
  7. Impressionism began in which city and in which century?
    A group of independent artists rejected the style and rules of the art of the day and developed their own style. This piece, by the artist Claude Monet, is entitled 'Haystacks, (Sunset)'
  8. The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting in what environment?
    The term still used for this method today is 'En plein air'. This painting, by John Singer Sargent, shows the artist Monet painting by the edge of a wood
  9. What is said to be wrong with this painting by Manet?
    The painting is called 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère' and the use of perspective is still debated by critics today!
  10. During the Impressionists' first exhibition, an art critic harshly stated that what was more complete than the work he'd seen?
    His full criticism read: 'I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it ... and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that seascape'.
    This painting is of St. Martin Canal in Paris and is by the British painter, Alfred Sisley, whose work was included in that first exhibition

Author: Angela Smith

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