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Bohemian and Moravian Highlands. His smaller pictures are some of the most treasured in
Czech painting.
France
The French maintained dominance in the European arts scene into the 19th century. The
Impressionist movement grew up amongst young artists in reaction to the control of the
Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The young group of artists, which included Claude Monet,
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille and later Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne,
and Armand Guillaumin, joined together in the face of rejection by the Academy and its
traditional and conservative standards. Although never fully embraced by the public, the
movement gained momentum in the art world through the century.
By the 1880’s a number of the original Impressionists, such as Degas, rejected the ‘purest’
impressionism of Monet, Sisley, Morisot, and Pissarro, and chose to concentrate on the primacy
of drawing over shape or colour. By the end of the century the Post-Impressionists were
rejecting the limitations of Impressionism and extending the ideas, by an emphasis on
geometric forms for expressive effect.
The Post-Impressionists, although all dissatisfied with the limits of Impressionism, could not
agree on how it should progress. Paul Cezanne tried to find a durable and solid basis for
Impressionism by reducing objects in his paintings to their basic forms, whilst Vincent Van
Gough concentrated on swirling brush strokes as a form of expression.
Vincent
Van
Gough:
The Starry
Night
72
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