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)
Durand-Ruel Opens in New York

Thе growing vogue for Impressionist painting in America, a country without the prejudices of the French academic tradition, gives Durand-Ruel the courage to open a gallery in New York. Cassatt helps foster the popularity of Impressionism in the USA by nurturing the enthusiasm of American friends such as Henry and Louisine Havemeyer.

Durand-Ruel opens a gallery in an apartment on Fifth Avenue, New York.

Monet paints in Antibes, where he remains till April.

The exterior and interior of Durand-Ruel's gallery on Fifth Avenue, New York.
8th Pissarro exhibits some etchings at the offices of La Revue independante.

15th Mallarme plans to have his prose poem Le Tiroir de laque illustrated by Degas, Renoir and Morisot. (When it is published in 1891, there is only one illustration by Renoir.)

27th The Ministry of Fine Arts buys Sisley's September Morning (1887) for 1000 francs.

Antibes Seen from the Jardinde la Salis

After painting the granite l scenery off' the coast of Brittany, Monet chose, as a contrast, to go back to the Mediterranean. 'After terrible Belle-Ile', he wrote, 'this is going to be tender, here there's nothing but blue, rose and gold.' The Antibes canvases are similar in mood to those he produced in Bordighera, but there is a new harmony of colour flowing throughout these paintings.

2nd Renoir, who has been staying at Cezanne's home, the Jas de Bouffan at Aix-en-Provence, moves to a hotel 'because the household is so wretchedly mean.'


4th Renoir goes to Louveciennes, where his mother is seriously ill.


3rd Degas' Dance Class at the Opera (1872) is shown at the Glasgow International Exhibition, and his Green Dancer at the New English Art Club in London.

Green Dancer
c. 1880

There is an interesting dichotomy in this work between the vibrant figures on stage and the static line of dancers waiting in the wings a contrast that is highlighted by the two groups wearing dresses of a different colour. The pose of the central ballerina can be traced to The Star and subsequent drawings of dancers by Degas.

1st Guillaumin has a one-man exhibition at the offices of La Revue independante.

25th A mixed exhibition opens at Durand-Ruel's gallery in Paris.
It includes twenty-six Pissarros, twenty-four Renoirs and twenty-four Sislevs.

Renoir spends the summer working in Argenteuil, with occasional trips to Essoyes.
Sisley who has an English passport - toys with the idea of becoming a French citizen, but does not do so.

4th The dealer Theo van Gogh takes ten views of Antibes from Monet. (He sells them during the course of the year for 27,720 francs, out of which Monet receives 11,400 francs.)

5th An influential exhibition of historic Japanese prints opens at Siegfried Bing's gallery in Paris.

6th Degas buys The Ham and A Pear by Manet at the sale of part of the collection belonging to Eugene Pertuiset, the big-game hunter whose portrait Manet had painted in 1880-1. (Pertuiset had acquired nine pictures by Manet, not all of which are included in the sale.)

8th An exhibition of works by Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley opens at Durand-Ruel's gallery in Paris.
Monet refuses the Legion of Honour, and pays a visit to London.
Vincent van Gogh writes to Theo suggesting that Boussod & Valadon send them both to London 'to sell Impressionist paintings'.
Degas works feverishly on sculptures of racehorses.
Degas visits Pau, where his friend Paul Lafond is director of the museum Lafond had been responsible for buying Degas' Portraits in an Office for the Societe des Amis du Musee de Pau in 1878.
Sargent works with Monet at Giverny.

Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

Monet first met the gregarious and gifted American painter John Singer Sargent around 1876, and the two artists developed a close and mutually profitable friendship. This portrait, produced while they were working together at Giverny in the summer of 1888, emphasizes Monet's taste for pkin-air painting, and is a companion piece to Sargent's Claude Monet in his Studio Boat (1887).
Renoir stays in Petit-Gennevilliers with Caillebotte. He begins to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Pissarro contracts an eye infection (which persists for the rest of his life).

Renoir spends three months in Essoyes 'in order to get away from expensive Parisian models, and paint washerwomen and laundresses on the river banks.'

23rd Gauguin joins van Gogh in Aries.

L'Arlesienne Mme Ginoux

This charcoal sketch of the owner of the Cafe de la Gare at Aries was a preparatory study for Gauguin's painting The Cafe at Aries of the same year. Van Gogh had already used Mme Ginoux as the model for his Arlesienne canvases.
The painters Serusier, Denis, Bonnard and Ranson - subsequently founder members of the Nabis group begin to work together. (The influence of Gauguin and Cezanne is apparent in their emotive use of line and colour.)
Degas turns down an invitation from the avant-garde society Les Vingt to participate in an exhibition in Brussels.

Renoir has an attack of facial paralysis.
Degas starts writing sonnets on themes from his paintings, dedicating each to an individual - including Mary Gassatt. (The poems are passed round in manuscript, but remained unpublished until 1946.)

24th After a violent quarrel with Gauguin, van Gogh cuts off part of his ear and makes a present of it to a prostitute. Gauguin contacts Theo to come and tend his brother, and immediately leaves Aries.

26th Gauguin arrives in Paris, where he stays with his friend and former colleague, Emile Schuffenecker.


During his three-month visit to Essoyes, Renoir used less sophisticated models to produce some of his most important canvases of rustic life. Constantly searching for a new style of painting, and at that time interested in eighteenth-century pastoral scenes, Renoir wrote to Durand-Ruel of this work: 'I have begun some washerwomen... I think it will work out all right this time. It is very soft and coloured, but luminous.'

William Powell Frith's painting of a Private View at the Royal Academy (1881), which typifies the British establishment's attitude towards art and its position in society.

William Powell Frith. Private View at the Royal Academy (detail)
By 1888 the Impressionist 'craze' had spread beyond the confines of France. In England, in the June issue of the well-established and highly regarded periodical The Magazine of Art, William Powell Frith, one of the country's most popular artists, addressed himself to the task of demolishing Impressionist pretensions in terms that no doubt delighted most of his readers:

We have now done, long ago, with the Pre-Raphaelitic, and another, far more dangerous craze has come upon us. Born and bred in France, what is called 'Impressionism' has tainted the art of this country. It is singular that this phase of art, if it can be called art, is in exact opposition to the principles of the Pre-Raphaelites. In the one we had overwrought details, in the other no details at all. So far as my feeble powers allow me to understand the Impressionist, I take him to propose to himself an 'impression' probably a momentary one that Nature has made upon him. If the specimens of the impressions that I have seen are what have been made on any human being, his mind must be strangely formed. There is an exhibition every year at Mr Walks' gallery in Pall Mall where admirable examples of foreign art may be studied, and a comparison of our own school with the examples of others ought to be a lesson to students and professors alike. And when there is so much to instruct and stimulate in the best of these, it has always seemed to me strange in the extreme that painters can be found who seem only to strive to reproduce their faults. It is to be hoped that the Impressionists' will not be allowed to play their pranks in the Royal Academy exhibition; we have enough evidence there of the seeming forgetfulness of the good that may be obtained by foreign training in the occasional display of sooty flesh, and dingy, unmeaning, not to say unpleasant subjects. I have sometimes been surprised to find that a picture of which - to use a vulgarism I could make neither head nor tail, had found a purchaser. It might have had a strange roughness entirely uncomprehensible [sic] to me, a kind of affectation of cleverness which the purchaser may have mistaken for genius. I fear my experience of public knowledge of art leads me to the conclusion that a picture simply true to Nature has no chance against one in which
the painter has indulged in eccentricity, which the buyer thinks wonderful because he cannot understand it.
In the way of a final word to the gentlemen who record their momentary impressions of Nature, I venture to advise them to dwell longer on their impressions; let them keep Nature before their eyes for hours, days and weeks, and then perhaps their impressions will be more what they ought to be. This advice, is not likely to be taken and these artists (?) may do much mischief to our modern school, the effects of which may be disastrously permanent; but the craze itself will as assuredly pass away as everything foolish and false does sooner or later.

Frith was not alone in his reactions. A few weeks after his article was published, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister from Aries recalling his own reactions when he hrst encountered the Impressionists' work:

One has heard about the Impressionists, one expects much and... when one has seen them for the first time, one is very much disappointed, and thinks they are ugly, sloppily and badly painted, badly drawn, of a poor colour; everything that is miserable. That was my first impression when I came to Paris.

In 1888 the critic Theodore Duret visited the USA. In his book Manet and the French Impressionists, published in 1910, he included the following account of the Impressionist paintings he found in America, adding details of subsequent acquisitions by some of the collectors:

This was still the heroic age of the new painting. It was still only appreciated by a very small minority. But the ardent enthusiasm, the birth and growth of which I had witnessed in France, manifested itself here also. Moreover, America is free from the prejudices of the Old World; the atmosphere is favourable to novelties. Hence, Manet and the Impressionists did not encounter there that desperate resistance which they had to overcome in France and Germany.
The Metropolitan Museum in New York now possesses two works by Manet, presented by Mr Irwin Davis in 1889: 'Boy with a Sword' and 'Young Woman with a Parrot'. 'Boy with a Sword' found more favour when it first appeared than any of Manet's other pictures. Pleasing in its subject, executed in softly blended tones, it received nothing but praise from the very first. 'Young Woman with a Parrot', on the other hand, was strongly condemned at the Salon of 1866, and has been more or less debated ever since. The collection has since been enriched by 'Portrait of Mme Charpentier and her Children' by Renoir, purchased at the Charpentier sale in 1907 for the sum of 84,000 francs.
The private collections of the United States contain a very large number of the works of Manet and the Impressionists. The following is a list of the works of Manet, with the names of their owners:
'The Guitar Player'..........................................Mr Osborn, New York
'The Tragic Actor'...........................................Mr George Vanderbilt, New York
'The Repose'....................................................Mr George Vanderbilt, New York
'The Guitarist'.................................................Mr Pope, New York
'The Water Drinker'.........................................Mr McCormick, New York
'The Dead Torero'............................................Mr Widener, Philadelphia
'The Bullfight'..................................................Mrlnglis, New York
'The Street Singer'............................................Mrs Sears, Boston
'The Racecourse'...............................................Mr Wittemore, Boston
'The Philosopher'..............................................Mrs Eddy, Chicago
'Races in the Bois de Boulogne'..........................Mrs Potter-Palmer, Chicago
'View of Venice'...............................................Mr Crocker, San Francisco
'Battle of the Kearsage and the Alabama'.............Mr John Johnson, Philadelphia

Masked Ball at the Opera

This painting was one of the first to be bought from the artist by Faure. The singer sold it to Durand-Ruel in 1894, and it was purchased by Mr and Mrs H. O. Havemeyer the following year.
The works of Claude Monet in private collections are so numerous, that it is impracticable to compile a list of them here.

By far the most important collection of works of Manet and the Impressionists which exists in the United States is that brought together by Mr and Mrs H. 0. Havemeyer, in New York. It was formed partly with the advice of their friend Miss Mary Cassatt. After having gathered together one of the finest collections of the old Italian and Dutch masters, and of the French masters of the nineteenth century, Ingres, Corot and Courbet, they turned their attention to the most recent of the French painters. Mrs Havemeyer, to whom the collection passed after the death of her husband, possesses the following works by Manet: 'Mile V. in the Costume of an Espada', A Young Man in the Costume of a Mega', 'A Torero Saluting', 'Christ with Angels', 'The Garden', 'Ball at the Opera', 'The Port of Calais', 'The Railway', 'View of Venice', 'En Bateau', and other less important works and pastels. She has also a large number of works by Degas, representing every aspect of his art, also by Claude Monet and Cezanne, including the latter painter's 'The Rape'.