Impressionism Timeline  
  Impressionism * Neo-Impressionism * Post-Impressionism  

  1870 1880 1890
  1871 1881 1891
  1872 1882 1892
1863 1873 1883 1893
1864 1874 1884 1894
1865 1875 1885 1895
1866 1876 1886 1896
1867 1877 1887 1897
1868 1878 1888 1898
1869 1879 1889 1899
Impressionism Timeline
Impressionism * Neo-Impressionism * Post-Impressionism
Camille Pissarro
Edouard Manet (1832-83) Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Alfred Sisley (1839-99)

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
Claude Monet (1840-1826) Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Frederic Bazille (1841-70)

Armand Guillaumin

Berthe Morisot (1841-95)

Federico Zandomeneghi (1841-1917)

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) Giuseppe de Nittis
Max Liebermann
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94) Peder Severin Kroyer (1851-1909) Vincent van Gogh
Charles Angrand
Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910)

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Childe Hassam 

Georges Seurat (1859-91)
Louis Anquetin
(1861- 1932)
Theo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) Paul Signac (1863-1935) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Emile Bernard (1868-1941)
Publication of 'La Vie moderne'
A surge of confidence among the group is reflected in the founding of 'La Vie moderne', a periodical dedicated to the promotion of Impressionism, the premises of which also house an art gallery. Renoir plays a major part in its conception.
Degas begins to make regular visits to the Cirque Fernando, a popular circus near the Place Pigalle (later frequented and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec).

A poster for the Cirque Fernando in Montmartre,
which Degas started to frequent in 1879.

3rd Sisley exhibits three works at the Societe des Amis des Arts de Pau. None are sold.

23rd One of Renoir's favourite models, Alma Henriette Leboeuf, known as Anna, dies at the age of 23.
Eva Gonzales marries the engraver Henri Guerard.

Cezanne returns to Paris, then moves to Melun.


1st Manet moves into his last studio at 77 rue d'Amsterdam.

10th Encouraged by his wife, Marguerite, the publisher Georges Charpentier - a friend and patron of Renoir -launches a magazine entitled La Vie moderne, which aims to promote the work of the Impressionists.

An announcement in the first issue states that the magazine has an art gallery on its premises with direct access to the street, which is 'intended to transfer the atmosphere of an artist's studio to the boulevard; a hall which will be open to everybody, where the collector can come when he pleases, thus avoiding possible friction and having no fear of imposing himself Manet unsuccessfully submits a plan for the decoration of the council chamber in the new Hotel de Ville.
Opening of the fourth Impressionist exhibition, at 28 avenue de L'Орёга II.
20th Sisley moves to 164 Grande-rue in Sevres, helped by the sale of six paintings to Charpentier for 400 francs.

Many Cassatt exhibits at the Society of American Artists in New York.

3rd Opening of the Salon.

Manet and Eva Gonzales both have work accepted, but Cezanne and Sisley are rejected. Renoir's Madame Charpenher and her Children is hung prominently. The portrait elicits warm applause from the critics, and even the most conservative reviewers express satisfaction at Renoir's return to the Salon.


12th Renoir suggests to Charpentier that he should stage an exhibition of forty paintings by Sisley some of which 'would be bound to sell.'

19th An article by Edmond Renoir on his brother's paintings appears in La Vie moderne. (Edmond had been involved with the magazine from the start and would become its editor.)

Zola criticizes certain aspects of Impressionism in Viestnik Europi, a Russian periodical to which he is contributing
regular articles and reviews.


The cover of the first issue of La Vie moderns,
published by Georges Gharpentier.


5th An exhibition of Impressionist drawings opens at the gallery of La Vie moderne, and attracts around 2000'visitors a day.

26th Le Eigaro reprints Zola's article from Viestnik Europi under the headline 'M. Zola has broken with Manet'.

27th An exhibition of paintings by Monet, Pissarro and Sisley opens at the offices of the left-wing paper L'Evenement.


7th Monet, who has been living and working in Vetheuil, is in desperate financial straits. He writes to one of his patrons, the Romanian doctor Georges de Bellio, asking for money to help support his wife who is sick.

A contemporary photograph of Monet's
house in Vetheuil, by Pierre Baudin.


5th Monet's wife, Camille, has a slow and painful death. Her husband is appalled by the detachment with which he has been able to paint her in her last hours.

Camille Monet on her Deathbed

Monet remarke Clemenceau of this macabre work: 'I caught myself... searching for the succession, the arrangement of coloured gradations that death was imposing on her motionless face.'

Manet's The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian has a mixed reception when shown in New York and Boston for several weeks.


In the Conservatory

Manet painted this double portrait of M. and Mme Jules Guillemet, owners of a fashionable shop in the prestigious rue du Faubourg, in his studio at 77 rue d'Amsterdam. When the painting was shown at the Salon of 1879. Manet asked the State to purchase it, but was unsuccessful in this request. On January 1st, 1883, however, it was acquired by Faure for 4000 francs.
All the Impressionists are poor technicians. In the arts, as well as in literature, form alone sustains new ideas and new methods. In order to assert himself as a man of talent, an artist must bring out what is in him, otherwise he is but a pioneer. The Impressionists, as I see it, are but pioneers. For a moment Manet inspired great hopes, but he appears exhausted by hasty production; he is satisfied with approximations; he doesn't study nature
with the passion of true creators. All these artists are too easily contented. They woefully neglect the solidity of works meditated on for a long time. And for this reason it is to be feared that they are merely preparing the path for the great artist of the future expected by the world. EMILE ZOLA, 'M. Zola has broken with Manet', Le Figaro, July 26th - reprinted from Viestnik Europi.

(Le Messager de I'Europe), St Petersburg, July 1879
The fourth Impressionist exhibition - entitled '4e Exposition faite par un groupe d'artistes independants, realistes et impressionnistes' was held at 28 avenue de l'Opera from April 10th to May 11th. Altogether, there were fifteen exhibitors. Gauguin was invited to participate, but failed to submit his entries in time to be included in the catalogue. Pissarro had thirty-eight works on show (including four fans and a view of Norwood); Monet exhibited twenty-nine items (mostly landscapes of Vetheuil); and Degas contributed twenty-nine works in various media (including some fans), of which the most prominent was his oil painting Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando.

Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando

Degas was fascinated by this acrobat, a mulatto woman known as 'Miss La La\ who during her act was pulled up to the dome of the theatre by a rope, which she hung from by her teeth. The above drawing is one of a series of four studies that Degas produced in black chalk and watercolour between January 19th and 25th, 1879, as preparation for the finished painting.
Monet had not wanted to exhibit, and did not appear at the exhibition. It was Caillebotte who collected his works and hung them; he also lent a number of Monets from his own collection. Cezanne, Renoir and Sisley did not exhibit at all. The imprint of Degas' personality was clearly apparent. In the first place, he insisted that the word 'Impressionist' should not be given undue prominence in the title of the exhibition. Secondly, many of the exhibitors - including Cassatt, Rouart, Zandomeneghi and Forain - were Degas' special proteges.

Attendance was better than at the third exhibition. Admission cost 50 centimes, and on the first day the receipts amounted to 400 francs. At the end of the exhibition Caillebotte reported that there had been 15,400 admissions; all the expenses had been covered, and each member of the group received approximately 440 francs.

One of the visitors was Georges Seurat, then a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, who was so enthused by what he saw that he decided to leave that institution and work on his own.

Critical reception was generally hostile - much of it harping on the theme, not entirely unjustified, that the Impressionists were finished as a group. But not all the notices were bad. Edmond Duranty wrote a favourable review in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, in which he praised Monet and Pissarro as well as Degas and his circle; and in Italy, Roma Artistica published a long laudatory article.