The Impressionist artistic movement began in 1873 when a group of artists including Claude Monet and Edgar Degas came together to exhibit their work.. They were joined by others and a total of 30 artists showed off their paintings 8 times between 1874 and 1886. The Impressionist movement which arose from these exhibitions was a revolt against the Realist style which was the accepted standard in France at the time. Up until then young artists had needed to get their works accepted by the Salon de Paris in order to get exposure. The Impressionist exhibitions put an end to this.
Impressionist paintings are marked by their lighter brush strokes and their use of brighter colours. Their subjects are usually landscapes or still lifes and they pay little attention to detail, instead giving the viewer an impression of their subject.
The name 'Impressionism' comes from a harsh review of Monet's painting, Impression Sunrise, which read, "Impression—I was certain of it. 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." The term 'Impressionist' soon caught on - even amongst the artists themselves.
During the 1880s some artists, such as Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, began to develop their own ideas based on the Impressionist example. Their work came to be known as known as Post-Impressionism.