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)
Success of Monet's 'Haystacks'

Monet exhibits fifteen paintings from his 'Haystacks' series at Durand-Ruel's gallery in Paris and the exhibition meets with astonishing success. Within three days of opening all have been sold, but even this triumph does not stop the artist from selling his work privately.


25th Theo van Gogh dies in Utrecht.


1st The British art magazine The Portfolio publishes an enthusiastic survey of Impressionism by its editor, Philip Hamerton, as part of its series 'The Present State of the Fine Arts in France'.

5th The Renoirs go to stay, until April, with Teodor de Wyzewa and his wife at their house, the Villa des Roses, in Tamaris-sur-Mer.

7th Les Vingt in Brussels shows works by Cezanne, Gauguin, Camille and Lucien Pissarro, Seurat and van Gogh at their annual exhibition.

13th The critic Paul Alexis writes to Zola saying Cezanne has become a fervent Catholic because he is frightened of death and doesn't want to 'run the risk of roasting for all eternity.'

30th Gauguin auctions thirty of his pictures at the Hotel Drouot.
All but one are sold, and his target of 10,000 francs for the sale is nearly reached.
At the auction Degas buys La Belle Angele for 450 francs and a landscape of Martinique for 260 francs he later acquires several other works by Gauguin, including the copy Gauguin made of Manet's Olympia.

Paul Gauguin
Spirit of the Dead Watching


5th The Salon of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts opens.

It includes several works by Sisley (who was to exhibit there regularly).

7th Gauguin visits his wife and family in Copenhagen (it is the last time that he will see them). He returns to Paris a fortnight later.

A photograph of Gauguin taken February 13th, 1891.

17th An exhibition described as 'Paintings by the Impressionists of Paris from the galleries of Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York' opens at the Chase Gallery in Boston.

29th Seurat dies of an infection at the age of 32.

31st Gauguin departs for Marseilles by train, en route to Tahiti.

Renoir spends the month at Le Lavandou in the south of France.

4th An exhibition of watercolours, pastels and prints by Pissarro and Cassatt opens at Durand-Ruel's gallery.

Afternoon Tea Party

This colour print with drypoint and aquatint ably demonstrates Cassatt's extraordinary skill as a printmaker. In a letter to his son Lucien the day before the joint exhibition of works by Cassatt and Pissarro opened, Pissarro wrote, 'You remember the effects that you strove for in Eragny? Well, Miss Cassatt has realized just such effects and admirably: the matt tone, subtle but delicate, without stains or smudges; adorable blues, fresh rose ... The result is admirable, as beautiful as Japanese work.'

7th The art patron Victor Ghocquet dies at Yvetot in Normandy.

14th Van Gogh's friend Alexander Reid opens a gallery in Glasgow called the Societe des Beaux-Arts, dealing in contemporary French paintings. His first exhibition includes works by Degas and van Gogh.

Publication of the last issue of Durand-Ruel's short-lived magazine L'Art dans les deux mondes.

4th Monet shows fifteen of his Haystacks series at Durand-Ruel's gallery. The catalogue includes a laudatory preface by the radical journalist and critic Gustave Geffroy. The exhibition is an enormous success, all the paintings being sold within three days of the opening.


1st Dur and-Ruel holds an exhibition of recent works by Renoir.

12th Manet and Monet are represented in the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Berlin.

20th Pissarro has an eye operation, after which he does not paint outdoors for some time.


5th Renoir visits Berthe Morisot and her husband, Eugene Manet, at Mezy and introduces them to his wife, Aline.

Girl Picking Cherries

Shortly after his visit to Mezy in August, Renoir wrote to Morisot urging her to finish her 'painting with the cherry trees'. He was referring to The Cherry Tree. a large painting of Morisot's daughter Julie and her niece Jeanne picking fruit. It was developed from the largest group of preliminary studies Morisot had ever made for a painting, which included this red chalk drawing.

In a letter to his mother, Toulouse-Lautrec mentions that 'Degas has encouraged me by saying my work this summer wasn't too bad.' Renoir spends a week with Gaillebotte at the latter's home in Petit-Gennevilliers, near Argenteuil.

During December and January Degas sees Sigurd, a mediocre opera by Reyer, twenty-nine times as it features Rose Caron, the singer with whom he is infatuated.

1st Alexander Reid's Societe des Beaux-Arts holds an exhibition at Mr Collier's Rooms, 39b Old Bond St, London. It includes works by Degas, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley.

3rd Sisley exhibits at Georges Petit's gallery.

5th Monet visits London. He and Degas have works shown at the annual exhibition of the New English Art Club.

12th Guillaumin wins 100,000 francs in the Paris city lottery.
The first showing of the Haystacks series in May 1891 was Monet's most successful exhibition to date, and it confirmed his reputation as the most financially successful of the Impressionists. His correspondence with Durand-Ruel gives an indication of the interplay between artist and dealer that characterized their professional relationship. Monet was anxious to avoid having Durand-Ruel as his sole agent, and wished to continue selling privately and through others. The following letters were all written from Monet's home in Giverny. In the absence of Paul Durand-Ruel, the letter of June 30th was addressed to the dealer's son Joseph.

Haystack in Winter, Giverny

In later years Monet said that the origin of the Haystacks series were the rapid changes in atmospheric conditions while he was trying to paint the haystacks behind his house at Giverny, which can be seen in the contemporary photograph. Each time the light changed he asked Blanche Hoschede to fetch him another canvas.
Monet worked on the series from the summer of 1890 to the end of the winter of 1891. Fifteen of the twenty-five canvases were included in Monet's exhibition at Durand-Ruel's gallery in May.
February 23rd

Dear M. Durand,
In response to your request that I myself should make a selection of my most recent works and reserve them for you, I must confess frankly that to do so would be most embarrassing for me, as well as involving a matter of some delicacy. I would prefer therefore to wait till it is possible for you to come to Giverny, so that you can make your own choice according to your taste.
I have enough here at the moment to offer you an ample choice, and in case others come here before you I shall arrange not to show them everything.
With my best wishes, Yours truly,
Claude Monet

April 10th

Dear M. Durand,
Here is my catalogue. I have been tardy in sending it, so will you please make sure that it gets to the
printer immediately so that I can correct the proofs straight away?
In haste. See you soon.
Yours sincerely, Claude Monet

April 13th

Dear M. Durand,
I am a little late in sending you the measurements of the frames., for the pictures I have to deliver to you - the haystacks and others. I shall exhibit twelve, including the one of the haystacks that I delivered to you the other day. There are therefore twelve frames that you must have for May 2nd or 3rd:
6 frames measuring 92 x 65cm, one of them
being white
5 frames measuring 1m x 60cm, one of them
being white
I frame measuring lm x 65cm.
I shall look after the ones that I have - but if I am short, perhaps I can rely on you to supply the difference? In haste.
With my best wishes, Claude Monet

April 28th

Dear M. Durand,
I think that by now you will have received my telegram correcting the mistake in my catalogue. As I have told you, I shall have twenty-two pictures to exhibit, including a series of fifteen paintings of haystacks. I hope that by now my friend Geffroy has sent you the text of his preface. In any case, as he is coming here shortly, I shall chivvy him up about it.

I am hoping to come up to Paris myself either on Thursday evening or Friday morning. Could you kindly let me know immediately when the Peintres-Graveurs will have left the gallery reserved for me? And then I would like you to collect the paintings from M. Paul Galhmard and M. G. Clemenceau, 12 rue CUmont-Marot. Get this done on Thursday morning. Have all the frames ready for the same day.
Till we meet.
Tours very sincerely. Claude Monet

May 8th

Dear M. Durand,
Would you be good enough to let me know how my exhibition is coming on? I have hardly seen any notices about it in the papers but despite this, I am sure those who are interested in my painting will come to see it anyway.
In the hope of hearing some news from you.
Tours sincerely, Claude Monet

June 30th

Dear M. Durand.
I shall send to your address tomorrow morning the six paintings that your father bought from me on his last visit. Two of these canvases need a little retouching (they are the haystack ones). Keep the other four, and send me back these two in the same case. I would have liked to have sent them to you today, but it was impossible to get them down to Vernon [the station nearest to Giverny]. As to what you said to me in your previous letter, I would retort that it is impossible for me to tell people who come to my house that I don't have anything to sell them, no matter whether they are Americans or anyone else. The important thing is that I should not put you at a disadvantage. In fact, you can absolutely rely on the contrary: although collectors hope to buy pictures from me directly on the cheap, I often demand prices higher than those which you charge. Sometimes I sell sketches at a reduced price, but that is to other artists or friends.
As to commercial prices, you can rest assured that I have always favoured your father, and I am sure that to charge on an agreed scale is the right thing, especially for you, but also for me.
With best wishes, Claude Monet

October 19th

Dear M. Durand,
I have constantly been hoping to receive a visit from you, and indeed even yesterday was still expectingyou. So I am now writing to you with the request that you should take steps to send me the sum of 20,000 francs, which I need by the 25th of this month in order to complete the purchase of this house. If I can, I shall come and collect the money myself this week, but I cannot be more precise because of the weather - indeed, since your last visit here I have had nothing but problems and difficulties with my poor trees, about which I am not at all happy. However, if I cannot come myself, I shall send my son - or perhaps you yourself could bring me the money next Sunday, which will be the 25th. But in that case, it is essential that I should be absolutely certain [that you will bring it]. In any event, I expect a word from you to let me know, one way or another, whether I can rely on you.
I am all the more regretful that you were not able to come before, since M. Valadon [of Boussod & Valadon] came here three days ago and chose several paintings. But don't be alarmed- there are still plenty left for you, and I put on one side those that you marked as being likely to sell. Finally, I hope that if you have to go away soon you will find time to come here first.
With all my best wishes, Claude Monet