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)
Monet Triumphant

Monet enjoys an extremely successful and prolific trip to Norway, producing some twenty-six paintings, including several of Mount Kolsaas. On his return, he has fifty paintings from various series exhibited at Durand-Ruel's Pans gallery. As with the 'Haystacks' exhibition of 1891, the critical response is rapturous.

Monet goes to Christiania (now Oslo) in Norway to visit his stepson Jacques Hoschede, taking with him one of the paintings of Rouen cathedral on which he is still working. He stays at Sandviken, about 20 kilometres (twelve miles) from Ghristiania, and paints some twenty-six views of the village and surrounding countryside - including nearby Mount Kolsaas in different atmospheric conditions.

12th Renoir visits the home of his pupil Jeanne Baudot and her parents in Carry-le-Rouet, near Martigues.


7th Pissarro exhibits with La Libre Esthetique in Brussels.

Market at Pontoise

Pissarro frequented the marketplaces of Gisors and Pontoise, even after he had moved to Eragny-sur-Epte in 1884, and produced market scenes in a variety of media.

24th In a letter to his son Lucien, Pissarro bemoans his lack of success: 'They say there is no money around, which is only comparatively true. Monet sells, doesn't he? And gets high prices. Renoir and Degas sell, don't they? No, I remain in the same boat as Sisley, bringing up the rear of Impressionism.'


3rd Berthe Morisot dies of pneumonia at the age of 54. In her last letter to her daughter, Julie Manet, she bequeaths paintings to Degas, Monet and Renoir.

A photograph of Berthe Morisot (1894),
taken the year before her death.

7th An exhibition of works by Manet opens at Durand-Ruel's New York gallery.

12th Gauguin sails for Tahiti.


3rd Monet returns to Giverny from Norway and, together with Durand-Ruel, starts organizing a major exhibition of his work.

16th Cassatt has an exhibition at Durand-Ruel's gallery in New York, consisting partly of items from the exhibition held at his Paris gallery in 1893 and partly of new work.

The title page of the catalogue of
Mary Cassatt's exhibition at Durand-Ruel's
gallery in New York.

25th-26th The American Art Association in New York holds a sale of works by Degas, Guillaumin, Monet. Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley on behalf of the American dealer and collector James F. Sutton.

Pissarro helps the anarchist paper Les Temps nouveaux by contributing money and drawings.

9th Monet's exhibition opens at Durand-Ruel's gallery. Fifty paintings are on show, including the Rouen Cathedral series, priced 12,000 francs each; several views of Vernon (near Giverny); thirteen of Mount Kolsaas; one work from the Haystack series; one from the Poplars series; two Ice Floe paintings; and several of the Dutch tulip fields (from 1886). The exhibition is a huge success.

The critic Gamille Mauclair asserts that Monet is 'the most prodigious virtuoso that France has seen since Manet'; and Clemenceau declares that Monet has 'made the stones themselves live.'

12th Murer puts on an exhibition of works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley at his hotel in Rouen.


15th Degas purchases Delacroix's portrait of Baron Schwitter (now in the National Gallery, London) from the dealer Michel Montaignore in exchange for three of his own pastels valued at 12,000 francs.


3rd Renoir spends a week in La Roche-Guyon. He visits Monet at Giverny, which is nearby, and receives a visit from Cezanne.


8th The Renoir family visit Brittany and stop in Pont-Aven, where they entertain Morisot's daughter Julie and her cousins Jeanne and Paule Gobillard (the children of her sister Yves, who had died in 1883).

11th Degas, who has become an obsessive photographer, starts employing the colour merchant and framer Tasset to develop and enlarge his prints.

Monet, Pissarro and Sisley exhibit at the Ghent Triennale in Belgium.

Washerwomen, Eragny-sur-Epte

Degas works on a bust of his friend the artist Federico Zandomeneghi.

7th Vollard exhibits Cezanne's paintings at his gallery in the rue Lafitte, establishing his reputation as a dealer in avant-garde art.

This etched Portrait of Paul Cezanne (1874)
by Pissarro was reproduced in the catalogue
of Cezanne's exhibition, held at Vollard's
gallery in November.

24th Works by Monet and Sislev are shown at the annual exhibition of the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.

29th Julie Manet buys an early Cezanne, The Assassination, from his exhibition at Vollard's gallery.

Renoir buys a house in Essoyes.

Portrait of Paul Cezanne
Monet's fame had preceded him before his arrival in Norway, and on April 6th, shortly before his departure, a national newspaper, the Bergens Tiede, published an article about him by a young poet, Henri Bang:

Mount Kolsaas

Monet's trip to Norway was primarily to see his stepson Jacques. While there, however, he produced twenty-six landscapes, thirteen of which were views of Mount Kolsaas. The artist found the countryside 'very difficult to understand', feeling that 'one needed to live here for a year to do anything good.' He also complained about the weather's variability. Almost all of the Mount Kolsaas canvases are painted from the same viewpoint, and are the same size.
After tea, when Claude Monet was sitting in the corner of the sofa, looking rather like a peasant after a long day's work, the conversation turned to interviews, writers and reporters, and this led Monet to say: 'Anyway what do you want? What can be said about me? What indeed can be said about a man who is interested in nothing but his painting? It's a pity if a man can only interest himself in one thing. But I can't do anything else. I only have one interest. Work is nearly always a torture. If I could find something else I would be much happier, because I could use this other interest as a form of relaxation. Now I cannot relax. Colours pursue me like a constant worry. They even trouble me in my sleep.'

One evening when he came back after ten hours of work in the bitterly cold Norwegian air, watching the sun and the colours of the landscape, this 60-year-old man said: 'No, it was no real hardship. And anyway, what
else could I have expected? I am chasing a dream. I want the unobtainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that's the end. They've finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible. If only I could satisfy myself with what is possible!'

Monet has twelve or thirteen canvases which he is working on at different times, and each moment of the day has its own canvas. At each time of day he goes to work on the canvas connected with it, so as to find, as closely as possible, the same light which has the same beauty, and perhaps only to work on that part of each which his eye sees and his spirit understands at that particular moment. But nature mocks his art, and his dream fades as his hands cannot express what he wants them to. There are days when, in a blind rage, furious with himself and with the ineffectiveness of his colours, he tears his canvas in pieces and treads it into the snow. 'Ah,' he says, 'how often when I was working in Le Havre have I thrown my colour box into the sea, and been forced the next morning to telegraph to Paris for a new one -because you always have to start again.'
"These days, Degas abandons himself entirely to his new passion for photography,"
wrote an artist friend in autumn 1895


Self-portrait (photograph)
c. 1895
In October 1895 Julie Manet noted in her diary: 'Monsieur Degas can think of nothing but photography. He's invited us all to have dinner with him next week, and he's going to take us all by artificial light'. Although all the Impressionists were influenced by the camera, Degas was especially sensitive to its impact and particularly intrigued by Eadweard Muybridge's photographs of horses in motion.

But it was not until 1895 - curiously enough at a moment in his career when he had virtually given up painting the portraits which had constituted a major part of his earlier output -that he began using the camera as a creative tool. Although glass plates were now giving way to celluloid roll film and he himself bought one of the new Eastman-Kodak cameras in 1896, nevertheless, whenever possible, Degas persisted in using the older technique, for which a tripod was essential. Moreover, he always took his photographs at night - explaining to his friend Daniel Halevy that 'Daylight is too harsh, what I need is the light of lamps, or of the moon.' In fact, the effect he constantly strove to achieve was that of the calotypes (the process invented by Fox Talbot) of the 1840s and 1850s. The most impressive of Degas' photographs were the ones he took of the Halevy family, and Daniel gave this account of a photographic session at the house of his unclejules Tascherau on December 29th, 1895:

Edgar Degas
‘Dancer Adjusting her Shoulder Strap’
c. 1895
Edgar Degas
Self portrait with Bartholomé's 'Weeping girl'
(Autoportrait à la statue de Bartholomé)
c 1895
The social part of the evening having concluded, Degas, his voice having assumed an authoritarian tone, ordered
that a lamp should be brought into the small drawing room and that anybody who was not going to pose should leave... One had to obey Degas'fierce will; his artist's ferocity. At moments like this all his friends always spoke of him with absolute tenor. If you invite him for the evening, you know what to expect -two hours of military obedience.

Despite the command that anyone who was not going to pose should leave, I sneaked into the room and, silent in the shadow, I watched Degas. He had seated Uncle Jules, Mathilde and Henriette on the little sofa in front of the piano. He walked up and down in front of them, running from one side of the room to the other with a look of infinite happiness. He moved the lamps, changed the reflectors, and tried to light their legs by putting a lamp on the floor - so as to catch Uncle Jules' legs, the most slender and agile in the whole of Paris, about which Degas always spoke ecstatically.

Edgar Degas
Danseuse le bras tendu

'Tascherau,' he said, get hold of that leg for me with jour right arm, and pull it in towards you -like that - then look at the young person beside you. More affectionately! Come on, come on. You can smile so nicely when you want to. And you, Mile Henriette, bend your head — more, go on, still more. Really bend it, rest it on your neighbour's shoulder.' And when she didn't do it properly, he got hold of her by the nape of her neck and posed her as he wanted. He then got hold of Mathilde and turned her face towards her uncle. Then he stepped back, and happily exclaimed 'That's it!'

The pose was held for two minutes, and then repeated. We shall see the photographs tonight or tomorrow night. He is coming to show them to us - he seems so happy about the whole thing.'

A photograph by Degas showing Renoir (left) and Mallarme (right).

After viewing Cezanne's one-man exhibition, Pissarro pondered about the qualities of Cezanne's paintings, and on November 20th aired his thoughts in a letter to his son Lucien:

I have been thinking about Cezanne's show, in which there were exquisite things, still lifes of irreproachable perfection, others much worked on, and yet unfinished, of even greater beauty, landscapes, nudes and heads that are unfinished, but yet grandiose and so painted, so supple. Why? Sensation is there...

Curiously enough, while I was admiring this strange, disconcerting aspect of Cezanne's work, familiar to me for
many years, Renoir arrived. And my enthusiasm was nothing compared to his. Degas himself is seduced by the charms of this refined savage. Monet, all of us, are we mistaken? I don't think so. The only ones who are not subject to Cezanne's charm are those artists and collectors who have shown by their errors of judgment that their sensibilities are defective. They properly point out the faults that we all see, but are oblivious to the charm. As Renoir put it so well, these paintings have an indefinable quality - like the murals at Pompeii, so crude and so admirable. Nothing of the Academie Julian! I exchanged a small sketch of Louveciennes for an admirable small canvas of bathers and one of his self-portraits.



Cezanne often recalled days of his childhood spent with Zola and other friends, swimming, playing, talking and reciting verses on the river bank, and throughout his life he returned to the theme of Bathers. This painting was once in the collection of Victor Chocquet.