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)
Embracing Europe
Having participated in a number of international exhibitions, the artists are now enjoying significant prestige in Europe. This year works by Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir and Sisley are included in an exhibition of the International Society of Artists in London, and Durand-Ruel stages Impressionist exhibitions in Munich and Berlin.

1st The dealers Boussod & Valadon publish a portfolio of twenty reproductions of drawings by Degas, dating from 1861 to 1896, and executed by his friend the engraver and printer Michel Manzi.

After the Bath (No.1)

In 1891 Degas embarked upon a series of nude women at their toilet, all of whom are seen from behind, with their long hair loose. It is thought that a possible source for these lithographs was Delacroix's The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople. This painting (which Degas had copied thirty years earlier) shows a grieving woman from a similar angle, with her hair also tumbling forward.

8th Works by Manet and Monet are included in an exhibition at the South London Art Gallery, Camberwell.

9th Degas buys a still life of a glass and napkin by Cezanne from Vollard for 400 francs.

31st Sisley (who is still British) applies to the Ministry of Justice to become a naturalized French citizen.


4th Renoir visits Cagnes-sur-Mer in the south of France for the first time. He is most enthusiastic about this exceptionally beautiful resort (which would later become his home).


14th In connection with Sislev's application for French nationality, the gendarmerie at Moret-sur-Loing report: 'His behaviour, morality and integrity are very sound; he is quiet and peace-loving, he does not visit anybody, and leads a very secluded life. His views do not seem to pose a threat to national security.'


1st Sisley exhibits five pictures all painted during his visit to Britain in 1897 - at the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

14th Durand-Ruel holds an exhibition of work by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley.


1st An exhibition of recent work by Pissarro opens at Durand-Ruel's gallery, plus a selection of pictures by Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Puvis de Ghavannes.

The Place du Theatre Francais

Towards the end of 1897 Pissarro rented a room in the Hotel du Louvre, which gave him a view of the Rue St-Honore, the Avenue de 1'Opera and the Place du Theatre Francais. During the next few months he worked on a scries of paintings of these streets.
In this work the viewer looks down on the Place du Theatre Francais (now the Place Andre Malraux). The theatre itself is in the top right-hand corner, while the Avenue de l'Opcra leads off to the left of the roundabout. The painting was one of a number of Pisssarro's recent works exhibited at Durand-Ruel's gallery in June.

3rd Monet has a successful exhibition at Georges Petit's gallery.

Supplement to Le Gaulois (June 16th, 1898)
reviewing Monet's exhibition at Georges Petit's gallery.

12th Works by Degas, Monet, Pissarro and Renoir are exhibited at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London.


1st Renoir and his family, accompanied by Julie Manet, go to Berneval, near Dieppe, where they rent a chalet. 4th An exhibition of the International Society of Artists organized by Whistler opens at the Prince's Skating Rink, in Kensington, London. It includes six works by Degas and one each by Monet, Renoir and Sisley, as well as Manet's Vagabond Musicians (1862) and the version of his Execution of the Emperor Maximilian that had been pieced together by Degas.

15th Pissarro visits Rouen, where he stays till October.

22nd Degas paints his last landscapes in St-Valery-sur-Somme, where his parents had taken him as a child.

The Return of the Herd
с. 1898

Degas produced this painting during his visit to the village of St-Valery-sur-Somme in July. Its harmonious colour and strong outlines are reminiscent of Gauguin's work, which Degas greatly admired.


10th Mallarme dies.


Sisley's wife, Marie-Adelaide-Eugenie, dies of cancer. He is suffering from the same disease.
10th Renoir and Durand-Ruel's son Paul go to see a Rembrandt exhibition in Amsterdam. While in Holland, they also visit The Hague.

Renoir produces designs for decorative panels in the house of the impresario Paul Gallimard, but does not paint the panels themselves.
Durand-Ruel stages Impressionist exhibitions in Munich and Berlin.
Pissarro congratulates Zola on his pro-Dreyfus polemic J'Accuse.


8th-24th Monet visits London to see his son Michel, who is learning English there. He produces no work during his visit.

12th Renoir sells Degas' The Dance Lesson (c. 1879), which he had chosen as a gift from Caillebotte's collection after the latter's death.
With the money it fetches, he buys a view of La Rochelle by Corot.
Consequently, a coldness ensues between Degas and Renoir.

A photograph of Monet in his dining-room at Giverny (c. 1898), which was painted in two different shades of yellow. Monet's treasured Japanese prints can be seen covering the walls.
In his fascinating book about his stepfather Claude Monet: ce mal connu, published in 1960, Jean-Pierre Hoschede - the son of Alice and Ernest Hoschede - provided an intriguing account of Monet's favourite dishes and the painter's eating and drinking habits at the Giverny dinner table:

Monet... had a very good appetite ...He loved good wine, and would never put water in it. That would have been sacrilege. Nevertheless, we never saw him less than in control of himself, and the reason for this was that, although loving a fine wine, he never abused it, being a gourmet and not a glutton. For the same reason, although he appreciated good cooking, he preferred simple dishes. He did, however, have his preferences. For instance, he liked asparagus very lightly cooked, and would have a separate dish of more thoroughly cooked asparagus for his guests. Salads he liked to season himself- and in what a manner! He would fill the spoon with ground black peppercorns, coarse salt, a lot of olive oil and a little wine vinegar, all well mixed up, and then douse the salad with the contents, making it almost black. Once it had been treated like this, the only people who could eat it were Monet and my sister Blanche, who always ate whatever he did. He had similar preferences for everything he ate.

With duck for instance, he always took the wings off... and before they were cooked drenched them in a mixture of ground pepper, coarse salt and grated nutmeg. For lobster, Monet had a special sauce made of ground pepper beaten with the 'cream' taken out of the shell -something which is not usually eaten. When there was an especially copious meal, Monet always had 'le trou normand', a glass of Calvados taken between courses. Similarly, every day, after coffee had been served in the studio, Monet would always have a glass of plum brandy, made from the plums in the garden. He was particularly fond of game, especially grouse, which I always had to provide for him during the season -especially for Christmas and New Tear's Day. It did not have to be fresh, as Monet liked his grouse well hung. He never followed any particular diet.

The death of Stephane Mallarme was a great blow to the surviving Impressionists. Never before had the links between art and literature been as close as they were in nineteenth-century France. Baudelaire had written extensively about art, and in the 1870s Zola had been not only a friend of the Impressionists but for a considerable time their stoutest defender. There was, not surprisingly, a natural camaraderie between the writers and artists that the establishment classed as 'rebels', and a two-way traffic of ideas and images flowed between them. Flaubert, for instance, who lived near Giverny and counted Monet among his friends, was very receptive to Impressionist ideas; and in L'Education sentimentale (1869) the artist Pellerin's painting The Republic: Progress or Civilization - showing Christ driving a railway engine through a Virgin forest was intended as a metaphorical reference to the Impressionists' concern with contemporary life, which became an important element in their approach to art.

A watercolour sketch by Edmond de Goncourt of his brother Jules,
painted shortly before the latter's death in 1870.

The novelist and critic Edmond de Goncourt was particularly interested in the work of Degas - whom he saw almost as a rival, commenting in 1891: 'He is enamoured of modernity, and within this context has concentrated on washerwomen and dancers. I find this quite an admirable choice, especially since in Manette Salomon (1867) I myself cited these two professions as providing the most pictorial examples in our age that a painter could think of Conversely, in Parisian Sketches, published in 1880, Huysmans included an account of an acrobatic turn at the Folies-Bergere that was obviously based on Degas' Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando. The publisher Georges Charpentier who subsidized the avant-garde art journal La Vie moderne, which held exhibitions of work by the Impressionists was a committed patron of the movement. Similarly, Marcel Proust and other writers who had no personal links with the Impressionists lent them their support and expressed their admiration for them in their writings.

With Mallarme, however, the links were personal as well ideological. He had met Manet in 1873. soon after arriving in Paris - and in 1885, two years after the painter's death, he wrote to Verlaine 'I saw my dear Manet ever)' day for ten years, and I find his absence today incredible.' It was at Manet's studio where Mallarme used to drop in on his way home from teaching at the Lycee Fontane (now the Lycee Gondorcet) that he become acquainted with Zola, Monet and Morisot, as well as Degas and Renoir, who became his close friends. In 1875 Manet illustrated Mallarme's prose translation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven; and the following year - during which he painted a portrait of the poet he illustrated one of his most famous poems, L'Apres-midi d'unfaune.

Nevermore, О Tahiti

This reclining nude recalls Manet's Olympia, which Gauguin had copied in 1891, but has a much more overt symbolic content. Despite the title and the unexplained presence of the bird, however, Gauguin denied more than a passing reference to Edgar Allan Poe's narrative poem The Raven.

Mallarme, for his part, wrote enthusiastic articles about Manet, Morisot and Whistler; and on the death of Morisot he became one of the guardians of her daughter Julie, a duty which he fulfilled with enthusiasm during the three remaining years of his life. Nevertheless, despite his links with the Impressionists, Mallarme was one of the founders of the Symbolist movement - which reacted against both Romanticism and Realism, emphasizing the mystical and the religious. He was therefore closer in feeling to the Post-Impressionists, and was one of Gauguin's earliest supporters.

The poet Paul Valery Mallarme's disciple and successor as the leading literary Symbolist, who was a talented draughtsman and sculptor as well as a writer enjoyed equally close links with the Impressionists and married Jeannie Gobillard, Morisot's niece. Valery was particularly close to Degas one of his first major works, La Soiree avec M. Teste (1896), was partly based on his views of Degas - and in 1937 he published a book on the artist entitled Degas, danse, dessin.

Portrait of Stephane Mallarme

Throughout his career Gauguin produced a great many wood engravings lithographs and monotypes, but this is his only known etching. It dates from a period in early 1891 when Gauguin was seeking publicity for a fund-raising sale of his work from Martinique, Brittany and Aries. Mallarme had helped the artist by persuading the novelist and critic Octave Mirbeau to write a eulogistic article about Gauguin, which appeared in L'Echo de Pans a week before the sale.

Several of the Impressionists displayed a strong interest in literature. Degas wrote a number of sonnets, which were passed around among his circle in manuscript form, and his letters are models of wit and acuity. Renoir's literary ability is apparent from the introduction he wrote in 1911 to a new translation of Gennino Gennini's II Libro dell'Arte; Monet read widely and had an extensive library at Giverny; and Cezanne, who wrote a considerable number of poems in his youth, retained his interest in poetry throughout his life, his favourite books being Virgil's Eclogues and Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal.