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)
The Manet Sale

The Impressionists attend the sale of the contents of Manet's studio, but find that the paintings have been overpriced by Durand-Ruel. Before long Durand-Ruel himself is threatened with bankruptcy, in response to which Monet and Renoir suggest that he reduces the prices of their paintings.


1st Gauguin and his family move to Rouen, where Pissarro is staying.

3rd Renoir has two paintings on show at an exhibition held by the Cercle Artistique de la Seine.
Cassatt and Sisley also take part.

5th A Manet retrospective opens at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The exhibition comprises 179 works, including pastels, lithographs, drawings and 116 paintings. The catalogue has a preface by Zola.

19th Monet goes to paint in Bordighera in Italy, near the frontier with France.

26th Monet writes to Alice Hoschede from Bordighera, saying that he has produced five paintings in a day.


Despite his financial worries, Monet was entranced by his visit to the Mediterranean coast in 1884 and produced a large number of works there, many of the same site. At Bordighera he was particularly attracted by the trees, which in this work frame the old town and the sea.

Eugene Manet gives his brother's Departure of the Folkestone Boat to Degas as a memento.

4th-5th The contents of Manet's studio are sold at the Hotel Drouot.
They fetch more than expected, 159 pictures going for a total of 116,637 francs.
Degas buys three drawings for 141 francs; Caillebotte pays 3000 francs for The Balcony; Duret 3500 francs for Chez le Pere Lathuille; and Rouart 4400 francs for The Music Lesson.
Three paintings Olympia, Christ Insulted by the Soldiers and The Old Musician - are withdrawn without a bid, largely because Durand-Ruel, who is acting as valuer, has priced them at around 10,000 francs each.

Diego Martelli, the well-known Italian art critic, who is a close friend of Degas, publishes a laudatory article about Manet in the periodical Fieramosca.

25th Durand-Ruel buys five paintings from Sisley for 1700 francs.

Durand-Ruel holds an exhibition of twenty-four Impressionist paintings at the Dudley Gallery in London.

4th Pissarro moves to Eragny-sur-Epte.

The Cote Ste-Catherine, Rouen

This pencil drawing is a preparatory study (in reverse) for a print of the same title, executed in etching and drypoint with aquatint. The hill in the background is the Cote Ste-Catherine, which is situated to the north-east of Rouen, overlooking the city.

6th Monet moves from Bordighera to Menton for two weeks.

In a letter to Durand-Ruel, Renoir describes his plans for a 'Societe des Irregularistes'. He starts work on a Grammar of Art, which he mentions as part of the society's intended programme, and asks Lionel Nunes (a relative of Pissarro) to do some research for the book. Durand-Ruel faces the possibility of bankruptcy. Renoir and Monet suggest that he might reduce the prices of their paintings.

2nd Opening of the Salon. Seurat's portrait of Edmond Aman-Jean (a painter who shared a studio with him) is accepted.

14th The newly formed Groupe des Artistes Independants holds an exhibition in a temporary post-office building on the site of the Tuileries. On show are works by 402 artists rejected by the Salon, including Seurat's Bathing at Asnieres. The police have to be summoned to quell fights between members of the executive committee, several of whom are arrested for assault.

Bathing at Asnieres

Monumental figures and stylized shadows, simplified contours and a distinct overall rhythm made this a key work in the revolt against Impressionism. At the same time, however, the landscape background, with the bridge and smoking factory chimneys, is still Impressionistic in feeling.


Encouraged by Pissarro, Paul Signac, a young painter who is a friend of Seurat (and, like Seurat, a future exponent of Pointillism), buys one of Cezanne's landscapes from Pere Tanguy.
Murer puts on an exhibition at his Hotel du Dauphin et de l'Espagne in Rouen of Impressionist paintings from his own collection. On view are nine works by Pissarro, four by Sisley, one by Cezanne, one by Gauguin and several by Guillaumin.

9th The affairs of the Groupe des Artistes Independants have become so muddled and the feuding among the committee so bitter that a meeting is called, chaired by the artist and writer Odilon Redon, to discuss the group's future.

11th A new body, the Societe des Artistes Independants, is legally constituted to replace the Groupe des Artistes Independants, with the aim of 'suppressing' juries and enabling artists 'freely to present their works for the judgment of public opinion.' (It would survive and become one of the constituent elements of the French art world.)

Renoir stays at the Berards' house near Dieppe, where he paints Children's Afternoon at Wargemont in the more classical style he is developing.
Degas visits the Valpincons at Menil-Hubert and works on a life-size bust of their daughter Hortense (it disintegrates due to lack of care). He stays till November. Monet paints at Etretat.

21st The painter Giuseppe de Nittis dies.

Children's Afternoon at Wargemont

The children in this work are the daughters of Paul Berard: 14-year-old Marthe (seated on the right). Marguerite, aged 10 (on the couch), and 4-year-old Lucie (standing). Renoir's new 'classical' style is evident in the clearly defined faces and the clean modelling of the forms.

Gauguin and his family move to Copenhagen.


2nd The Societe des Artistes Independants holds its first exhibition, which includes works by Seurat, Signac and Gauguin's former banking colleague Emile Schuffenecker.

8th Octave Mirbeau, the critic and novelist, publishes a laudatory article on Renoir in La France.

12th Monet suggests that the Impressionists should hold monthly meetings over dinner.

14th Two of Degas' horse-racing pictures -A Gentleman-Amateurs' Horse Race: Before the Start and Start (an unknown work) are included in an exhibition entitled 'Sport in Art' organized by the dealer Georges Petit.
In May Renoir wrote to Durand-Ruel saying that he was on the verge of calling the 'first assembly of a new society that I wish to found' and enclosing the following outline of its aims. Renoir's interest in 'irregularism' reflects his own youthful apprenticeship as a painter of porcelain, the teachings of Ruskin and the current concern with the decorative arts.

Among all the controversies that questions of art provoke every day, the main point to which we want to draw attention is one that has been constantly overlooked. 'Irregularity' is the theme that we wish to discuss.
Scientists say that nature abhors a vacuum; they could well extend this axiom by adding that nature has a horror of regularity.

Those who study the natural world know that, despite the simplicity of the laws governing their creation, the works of nature... are infinitely varied. The two eyes of even the most beautiful face are always slightly dissimilar; no nose is ever situated exactly above the middle of the mouth; the sections of an orange, the leaves of a tree, the petals of a flower, are never identical. It even seems that beauty of every kind derives its charm from this diversity...
One can say without fear of error that all truly artistic creations have been conceived and executed according to the principle of irregularity; in short, to use a neologism that expresses our thought more completely, they have always been the work of an irregularist.

In an age in which our French art, which until the beginning of this century had been so replete with penetrating charm and exquisite fantasy, is starting to perish thanks to aridity, regularity and a mania for false perfection, which nowadays makes the austere puritanism of the engineer its ideal of perfection, we think it a good thing to react promptly against the fatal doctrines which are threatening it with extinction, and that the duty of all men of taste and sensibility, whatever their reluctance to be aggressive, is immediately to band together in order to rebel and protest.


A contemporary photograph of Renoir (c. 1885).
  An association is therefore necessary.

Without wishing to be too specific, the general ideas of the founders of the association are roughly as follows.
Its aim will be to arrange as soon as possible exhibitions in which all artists, painters, decorators, architects, jewellers, textile designers etc. whose aesthetic is based on irregularity will be able to participate.

Among other conditions of admission, the regulations will stipulate specifically that so far as architecture is concerned all ornaments must be made after nature, without any motif flower, leaf, figure etc. being reproduced precisely; that even the smallest outline must be executed by hand, without any mechanical instrument being used; and that others, such as jewellers, embroiderers, painters on porcelain and the like, must exhibit alongside their finished products the drawings on which they were based.

A complete grammar of art, dealing with the aesthetic principles of the society, describing its goals and demonstrating its utility, will be published by the founding committee with the collaboration of those members who are prepared to offer their cooperation.

Photographs of famous works of art or decorations intended to support the principle of irregularity will be acquired at the expense of the society and installed in a special gallery where they will be accessible to the public.