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)
Cassatt Sides with Degas

This year, in an attempt to restore a semblance of unity to the group, Durand-Ruel takes the artists in hand and organizes their exhibition. His motives are partly commercial, as it proves an excellent shop-window for a wide range of his stock


14th Renoir visits Wagner, who is composing the opera Parsifal in Palermo, and paints his portrait in 35 minutes. They discuss the Iniquities' of Jewish composers.

Portrait of Richard Wagner

After painting this portrait of the composer in Palermo, Renoir reported to a friend: 'Wagner was in a jolly mood, but I was very nervous and I regret that I am not Ingres.'
25th Degas sells twelve studies of dancers and two pastels to Durand-Ruel for 2450 francs.
Following continuous squabbles about the next Impressionist exhibition, Durand-Ruel decides to organize it himself. He plans to include works by Renoir and Monet, mostly from his own stock.

1st Feder's Union Generale bank fails placing Durand-Ruel in a difficult financial position, since he has to repay extensive loans obtained from the bank.

23rd Renoir stays at the Hotel des Bains in L'Estaque, where he paints with Cezanne. During his stay in L'Estaque, he catches pneumonia.
Cezanne and Cezanne's mother look after him while he is ill.

Rocky Crags at L'Estaque

While visiting L'Estaque, Renoir was impressed by Cezanne's highly constructed compositions. The influence can be seen here, notably in the parallel diagonal strokes to the left.

Rocks at L'Estaque

The landscape at L'Estaque was central to Cezanne's development as an artist. In a letter to Pissarro he wrote: '... it seems as though the objects are silhouetted, not only in black and white, but in blue, red, brown and violet.' Increasingly in his work he focused upon abstract elements of form and colour.

1st The seventh Impressionist exhibition opens in the Salons du Panorama at 251 rue St-Honore.

9th A retrospective exhibition of works by Courbet opens at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

13th Durand-Ruel pays Degas 400 francs for the pastel Sur la scene. (A month later he sells it to Pissarro for 800 francs.)

14th On his doctor's advice, Renoir goes to Algiers. (He plans to stay there for a fortnight but remains for six weeks.)

Georges Petit - the owner of a fashionable gallery in the rue de Seze who is becoming increasingly interested in the Impressionists founds the Expositions Internationales de Peinture in collaboration with the society painter Giuseppe de Nittis. Their aim is to invite twelve painters to exhibit each year, three of whom would be French. Cezanne visits Zola and Chocquet, whose wife has inherited a fortune. Monet paints on the Channel coast.


3rd Opening of the Salon.

Manet exhibits Bar at the Folies-Bergere and Jeanne.
Works by Cezanne and Renoir are also accepted.


Bar at the Folies-Bergere

This work, Manet's last masterpiece, was painted in the artist's studio, though the subject was one of the most renowned Parisian venues for cafe-concerts. The woman, named Suzon, was not a professional model, but a barmaid at the Folies-Bergere. The man talking to her, whose reflection can be seen in the mirror, was the painter Gaston Latouche. Manet took the subject from a passage in Zola's novel Le Ventre de Paris, of which he owned an autographed copy.

MANET Bar at the Folies-Bergere (detail)
5th Durand-Ruel holds an exhibition at White's Gallery, 13 King Street, London, which includes works by Cassatt, Degas, Monet, Renoir and Sisley, as well as Delacroix and Millet. The exhibition is favourably reviewed in the Evening Standard.

Manet rents a house at Rueil from the playwright Eugene Labiche and paints there, though unwell.


Pissarro visits Burgundy.
Degas visits Etretat.
Morisot goes to Bougival, where she stays till the end of the year.

Cezanne paints at the Jas de Bouffan, an estate rented by his father, near Aix-en-Provence.
Degas visits Veyrier in Switzerland.
Van Gogh studies with the academic painter van Rappard in The Hague.


1st Durand-Ruel sends works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley to an exhibition of the Societe des Amis des Arts de Touraine in Tours.


4th Monet and Sisley have a discussion about the future of the group exhibitions, as Durand-Ruel has been suggesting a series of one-man shows instead. Monet favours two annual exhibitions, one devoted to landscape painters and the other to figure painters. Sisley supports Durand-Ruel's plan.

12th Mary Cassatt's sister Lydia dies the two sisters feature in Degas' At the Louvre (1879) and his subsequent etching Mary Cassatt at the Louvre.

Mary Cassatt at the Louvre

Degas was experimenting with a recently introduced technique known as 'electric crayon' when he produced this etching. The result was an extraordinary variety of surfaces, most noticeably the marbling of the pilasters, the oak parquet floor, the frames of the pictures and the textures of the dresses of Cassatt and her sister Lydia.
27th Cezanne asks Zola's advice about drawing up a will.

Pissarro moves to Osny, near Pontoise.
The seventh Impressionist exhibition - entitled the '7e Exposition des artistes independants' - was held in the Salons du Panorama de Reichshoffen, at 251 rue St-Honore. It was in some respects a strange choice of venue: the main attraction of the building was a panorama of one of the most crushing defeats suffered by the French army during the Franco-Prussian war, and the upper sections of the exhibition rooms were adorned with tapestries limiting usable wall space to such an extent that several of the exhibits had to be displayed on easels. Nevertheless, the building designed by Charles Gamier, architect of the new Opera - had come to be accepted as a suitable space for art exhibitions, and bodies such as The French Society of Landscape Painters and the Society of Animal Painters had already shown there.

The front page of the handwritten, mimeographed catalogue
produced for the seventh Impressionist exhibition.
Although the exhibition was in effect a shop window for Durand-Ruel, who partly filled the rooms with works from stock, the rent of 6000 francs was paid by Degas' friend Henri Rouart, a wealthy engineer and amateur painter who had participated in most of the previous exhibitions (this time, however, he did not submit any work). Unlike the catalogues of the previous shows, the one for the present exhibition was an amateurish-looking production, handwritten and reproduced by a copying process. Presumably because of the nature of the premises, the closing time was eleven o'clock in the evening. On the first day receipts amounted to 950 francs, suggesting that approximately 1900 people came to see the exhibition; on subsequent days the attendance figure was around 350.

Henri Rouart in front of his
с. 1877

Degas once said that the Rouarts were his only 'family' in France. This is one of several portraits he painted of Henri, Degas' old school friend, all of which showed the industrialist's left profile. Rouart's factory, depicted in the background, manufactured equipment for the military.
There were about 210 exhibits (not all of which were listed), including thirty-five by Monet, thirty-four by Pissarro, twenty-five by Renoir and twelve by Morisot. Prices ranged from 500 to 2500 francs - the higher price range, fixed by Durand-Ruel, embracing Monet and Sisley. The hanging seems to have been mainly the work of Caillebotte, and a party was held on the night before the opening so friends could view the final stages. As to framing, there was a diversity of styles: Gauguin favoured white frames, Pissarro coloured and gilded ones, and Morisot grey with gold ornaments.

Partly thanks to the active cooperation of Durand-Ruel and the fact that Degas' influence had largely been eliminated, this was the most 'Impressionist' of the exhibitions held to date.

As Pissarro put it in a letter to the collector Georges dc Bellio, the participants did not have 'any too obvious blemishes to deplore'. The critics generally recognized this and reacted favourably, especially to Renoir's
exhibits although Philippe Burty suggested that Renoir (who was still recuperating from pneumonia in L'Estaque at the time when the exhibition was assembled) might have made a rather different selection.

Some reviews, however, were less than flattering. Gaillebotte's paintings came in for a good deal of unfriendly comment, one critic describing them as 'hilarious'; and Monet was pilloried by a reviewer in the appropriately named Le Soleil who wondered why Sunset on the Seine, Winter Effect made him think of 'a slice of tomato stuck onto the sky, casting a violet light on the water and river banks.'


Sunset on the Seine, Winter Effect

Painted in Monet's studio from sketches, this work was exhibited at the gallery of La Vie modenw in 1880.
Huysmans was unexpectedly acid about the girls in Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party, and at the same time ambiguously flattering to the English demimonde: 'They do not', he complained, 'exude the aroma of Parisians; they are Spring-like trollops fresh off the boat from London.'

Luncheon of the Boating Party

This work may have been a response to Zola's plea for the Impressionists to paint more ambitious pictures of modern life. The site is the upstairs terrrace of the Restaurant Fournaise. Among those shown are Alphonse Fournaise Jnr (the proprietor's son), standing on the extreme left. In front of him is Aline Charigot, who later became Renoir's wife.

RENOIR Luncheon of the Boating Party 1880-1 (detail)
A the time when the seventh Impressionist exhibition was being hung, Berthe Morisot was in Nice with her baby, Julie. Her husband (Manet's brother Eugene), who had returned to Paris, therefore supervised the hanging of her work. In his letters to her. written at the beginning of March, Eugene described the preparations for the exhibition:
March 1st

As soon as I got back to Paris I went directly to the Salle des Panorames. I found all the scintillating group of Impressionists hanging pictures in an enormous hall. Everybody was delighted to see me, especially as I had come for the purpose of arranging your works... It is sure to be a success. Sisley is most fully represented, and has made great strides. He has a painting a pond or a canal surrounded by trees which is a real masterpiece. Pissarro is more uneven, but he has two or three figures of peasant women in landscapes that are far superior to those of Millet in drawing and colour. Monet has some weak things side by side with some very good ones, particularly winter landscapes ice drifting on a river which are quite beautiful.

Renoir's painting of boatmen looks very good. The views of Venice are awful - real failures. A scene with palm trees very good. Two very pretty figures of women. Gauguin and Vignon very poor. Caillebotte has some very boring figures done in blue ink, and some excellent small landscapes in pastel.

This morning only your portrait of Mane was in place. It was not well lit, nor was it at the right angle. Nivard has promised your frames in two days. Vignon has lent me a white frame in which your painting of the beach at Nice looks very nice. I have ordered frames for the other pictures.
I hope that you will send something within a week; don't forget to tell me the size of your canvas. Your 'Blanehisseuse' is very much improved, as well as all of your Nice pictures that are framed. My portrait is very good, it is beautifully drawn and the colour is excellent.

March 4th

I have ordered a white frame for your portrait of Marie on the porch. Don't be upset because the papers don't mention you. The problem is that you are not to be seen at the exhibition, whilst all your colleagues make great efforts to be around...

March 6th

You will have twelve pictures, including my portrait. Only nine are listed in the catalogue that I am sendingyou ... The Impressionists are doing well, especially Renoir and Sisley. Durand-Ruel gets 2000 francs for a Sisley. Edouard [Manet] says one must ask high prices.

March 7th

Tour pictures were put up this morning; all are in grey frames with gold ornaments. Marie' has been reframed, taken from the position where it did not look well, and placed on an easel in the main gallery. It is now in the best possible light. 'Bibi and Pasie' [Berthe's baby and her nurse] is placed below Marie'; its white and gold frame improves it enormously. Facing it, on an easel, are the 'Villa Arnulfi: on top and 'La Blanehisseuse' in the middle, with 'Bibi et son tonneau' underneath. My portrait is in the entrance hall in the somewhat unfavourable position previously occupied by 'Marie'.

Edouard, who came to the exhibition this morning, says that your pictures are among the best, and he has changed his opinion about the effect of my portrait. Duret, who has returned from London, congratulated me on your paintings. I have no doubt about your future success. I have asked 500 francs each for your smaller pictures, 1000 for 'La Blanehisseuse' and 'Bibi and Pasie', and 1200for Mam'.

Eugene Manet and his Daughter at Bougival

Between 1881 and 1884 Berthc Morisot and her husband Eugene Manet had a holiday home at 4 rue de la Princesse in Bougival on the Seine. There the artist painted several pictures of her daughter Julie, including this small canvas, showing the child playing under the eye of her father.