Manet's first submission was highly regarded, and by the age of twenty-nine he was already accepted as the leading figure of the new realism. The image of the poor artist certainly does not apply to him. Edgar Degas, who was two years younger than Manet, came from the same social background. Manet's attention was drawn to him as he copied paintings in the Louvre.
The two painters became friends and frequented the same circles in Parisian society. Manet already had contact to other open-minded artists from which later the group of Impressionists was to take shape.
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He brought Degas into this circle. Cezanne - the Unsophisticated Provincial. Another artist who came from a wealthy family was Paul Cezanne, son of a banker from Aix-en-Provence. Admittedly he had serious financial problems for many years because he was afraid of admitting his love of art and somewhat illegal living conditions to his rather tyrannical father.
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It was because of this that he only came to appreciate his father's fortune in the second half of his life, at a time when he was already so well-known as a painter that he probably would have been able to live off the proceeds from his paintings if it had been necessary. Because of his southern, almost rustic ways he had problems in the best Parisian circles. As well as this, his demure and difficult to understand paintings did not attract sympathy for his work.
This was responsible for his remaining unknown longer than the other Impressionists. Cezanne withdrew more and more from his circle of friends. From , he lived separated from his wife and children in Aix in self-imposed solitude, at first on the country estate which he jointly inherited, later, when the estate had been sold, in a small house on the outskirts of the town. When he had problems climbing the stairs to his loft studio he had a simple, but large studio built. His increasing fame was hardly recognized by the artist himself, in fact, he rejected it.
When Cezanne was given a large exhibition in Paris in , he had not exhibited a painting in the city for almost twenty years. The young art dealer Ambroise Vollard took the risk of holding a Cezanne exhibition in his gallery. Until then Cezanne had been regarded by his artist friends and in the small circle of people who were interested in his work at all at the most as a mediocre talent.
But his exhibition opened people's eyes: here the greatness of the artistic personality could be guessed at. Vollard presented works from a master of modern art. It was not just his friends who realized that, but also the public now recognized Cezanne's immortality. No other painter from the group left such deep impressions for the following generation of artists. In his lifetime he stood alone, only supported in his artistic desires by a few friends such as Renoir and Pissarro.
Pissarro - Cut Off and Impoverished. Camille Pissarro, the oldest of the Impressionists, was born in the West Indies. So that he could receive an ample education the young Camille was sent to a French boarding school. When his education at school was over, he returned home with the unshakable desire to become an artist.
In he was eventually allowed to study to become a painter. After fruitless attempts in various studios he finally ended up with Charles Suisse who limited his free painting school to the provision of space and models and did not make any corrections.
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After this Pissarro remained free from any academic compulsions and turned towards landscape painting. At first he was fascinated by Richard Parkes Bonington and John Constable , but then he orientated himself to Charles-Francois Daubigny , Camille Corot , Gustave Courbet and Jean-Francois Millet who themselves struggled to be accepted. In he was already able to exhibit a painting in the Salon. In the same year his parents also moved to Paris. This improved his living conditions for a time.
However, when he chose his parents' servant to be his wife, his father, angry at the marriage unbefitting his son's social class, threw the young couple out of the house and withdrew any future financial support. Pissarro was, among the friends, the one who practically never got away from financial worries for the whole of his life. He had a family to feed and was the only one of the Impressionists who did not find a rich patron and supporter. Although he painted incredibly fast, he always had low prices and his way of working meant that he always had a number of unfinished paintings.
Light was always the most important artistic element for him. But because of this he was very dependent on the landscape and had to consider the time of day and finish working as soon as the light began to fade. He was also dependent on the weather. He got into the habit of working on several canvasses at once, often the same motif at different times of day, for example, one in the morning mist and another picture in shining mid-summer sun.
Admittedly he had to abandon several motifs when he was unable to complete them in one working period when, after a long period of bad weather, the season changed. Sisley - Benefited from Family Business. Another young painter who came from a prosperous house and therefore was able to follow a career as an artist without any worries about his financial situation was Alfred Sisley. His mother was musically minded and when the son showed strong tendencies towards drawing, his father only made a half-hearted attempt to persuade him to begin a business career.
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He agreed to his son beginning an artistic training and his fortune often enabled the young artist to help poorer artist friends in critical situations. Sisley painted for years without making himself in any way financially dependent on his work. He married, had children and lived a middle-class lifestyle. During this time Renoir created his famous portrait of the Sisleys dressed in the expensive clothes befitting their social class.
Actually the only Impressionist thing about this painting is the treatment of light. At the end of the s, Sisley's father became seriously ill, the family business got into difficulties and had to close. Sisley was suddenly faced with the necessity of supporting himself and his family from the sale of his paintings. He moved in with Monet and later to the neighbouring Les Sablons , in a landscape in which he was especially able to work well.enter site
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Monet - The Leader and Landscape-Master. The personality of Claude Monet had a special place in the development of Impressionism.
In the artistic area he became the centre of attention in the movement. It was also he who introduced very advanced ideas on landscape painting into the circle of young artists. Claude Monet was born in Paris but his youth was spent in Le Havre where his father, who was a merchant, supplied ships. The harbour life and the wide beaches made strong impressions on the boy.
He entered art by drawing - notably cartoons. In those years the thriving press was very dependent on illustration of all types. Even people whose reading abilities were not so strong could understand cartoons and illustrative sketches and therefore the editors attempted to introduce as many pictures as possible. Monet trained himself from journals such as these, and due to his great talent he quickly found his own style.
When the possibility of exhibiting in a carpenter's window arose, the young man was able to sell his drawings to tourists. However, much more important was the fact that Eugene Boudin , a brilliant painter of coastal scenes, noticed the young Monet and recognized the young man's talent. He had worked in Paris for a long time and was able to assist the progress of the young painter in the metropolis.
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Monet went to Paris with the proceeds from the sales of his cartoons and some money from his father and began working at the Academie Suisse. Soon he came into contact with other young artists who would one day be called Impressionists. Monet was the member of the group with the greatest knowledge of plein-air painting. In Le Havre he had made comprehensive studies and had been taught by Boudin. He was therefore able to share his practical knowledge with the others. At the beginning of Monet had to start his military service and leave his friends.