Painting is the most ancient art form in human history, in France, there are cave walls filled with objects like animals, human faces, and human hands. Human beings are creative animals, unlike other animals their art shows a thematic variation. For example, a bird can arrange flowers of different color only for mating wile human art is diverse and complex with multiple layers of meaning and impressions.
Impressionism and post-impressionism are the art movements initiated in the second half of the 19th century in France. Impressionism was an avant-garde movement that shocked its audience by the sketch-like quality of the painting. They emphasized paint, color, light and the canvas surface over the realistic depiction of objects. Hence, it was a reaction against realism. Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series is an ample example to understand the importance of light and color in impressionism. This series depicts the cathedral at different times of day and the years. Monet emphasizes the role of light in our perception of the image. Furthermore, the core feature of the impressionists was to capture the fleeting moment by sketching brush strokes to give us an impression of the passing of time and the distorted version of reality by destroying the form. These spontaneous momentary sensations of light and color were defining characteristics of impressionism.
Post-impressionism refers to the artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne being the most famous of the movement. This movement is also a reaction against the realistic depiction of the world outside. For example, Van Gogh’s Starry Night depicts inner madness of Van Gogh’s life through color and brush strokes he creates his expressive look that indicates his own despair regarding religion, death and the universe as we can see the stars are not the ordinary stars that we see in the sky the burning balls of fire and heat. This dramatic composition and the expressive nature of the artist is one of the primary features of post-impressionistic painting.