Essay on The Difference Between Impressionism and Abstractionism

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Essay on The Difference Between Impressionism and Abstractionism

Two separate art movements emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Impressionism and Abstractionism. Both Impressionism and Abstractionism reject conventional methods and forms of art. However, they went about it in quite different ways.

The Difference Between Impressionism and Abstractionism

The greatest artists in the world participated in the aesthetic revolution that Impressionism started at the beginning of the twentieth century. Impressionism is a style of art that aims to express a feeling or emotion that is important to the creator.

Although the impressionistic style was mostly created in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was not limited to works by French painters. Among the pioneers of the Impressionist movement were Eugene Boudin, Jongkind, and Stanislas Lepine.

A key figure in the growth of Impressionism was one of its creators, Eugene Boudin. The use of color and light as a means of artistic expression is still practiced today because to Eugene Boudin’s various inspirations. Monet, Manet, and Renoir served as inspiration for the world-famous Impressionists.

On the other hand, aesthetics is a field of philosophy that investigates the meaning of art. Abstract art is characterized as expressing the meaning of its portrayal by employing approximations of actual shapes, colors, forms, and motions rather than perfectly reflecting and describing the original vision.

Since the use of representational art is prohibited by Jewish and Islamic tradition, abstract art has been around for generations. However, the Impressionism movement of the 1880s and 1890s can be linked to the origins of what we typically refer to as “abstract art.”

The idea that art should depict visuals was rejected by impressionism. This movement was maintained by post-impressionism, which gave greater weight to the feelings and expression of the artist.

The first artists to genuinely produce works that were pure abstraction were Wassily Kandinsky and Kasimir Malevich. The creator of the abstraction movement, Wassily Kandinsky, wrote a book titled On the Spiritual in Art that outlined his ideas on art and spirituality.

Impressionism and Abstractionism


Impressionism began in France in the 1860s. It was distinguished by its emphasis on capturing the momentary sensation of sight rather than attempting to render realistic detail.

Impressionist painters used free brushstrokes, vivid colors, and a small palette to capture the sensation of a certain moment. Also painted outside, illuminating their themes with natural light.

Claude Monet was a significant character in Impressionism and is well known for his water lily paintings, in which he caught the dance of light on the water’s surface. Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro are three further renowned Impressionist artists.

In rejecting the time’s established aesthetic traditions and methods, the Impressionist movement was revolutionary. Use of color to portray mood and environment was one of Impressionism’s major contributions. Impressionist artists strove to achieve a harmonious and radiant effect by carefully choosing and combining colors.

They employed vivid, light-filled hues to represent the effects of light. The bright, happy colors of Impressionism came to represent the optimism of the modern age since this was a significant break from the melancholy, earthy tones of older forms.

The emphasis placed by Impressionism on modern life and leisure pursuits is another distinguishing aspect of the movement. Modern people doing in commonplace activities like walking to the park, attending a concert, or having a drink at a café are frequently seen in Impressionist paintings.

In stark contrast to traditional art’s historical and mythical topics, this emphasis on the contemporary urban experience represented the era’s shifting cultural norms.

Impressionism encountered criticism and hostility from the prevailing art establishment despite its innovations and popularity. Its practitioners drew criticism for its unorthodox techniques and topics, and many traditionalists viewed it as a superficial, ornamental style lacking in content.

Impressionism in Music and Art

In both music and painting, impressionism emphasizes mood and atmosphere primarily. Simple characteristics of impressionist painting include the movement of light, blurred borders, and delicate brushstrokes. In contrast, impressionism in music is more difficult to define.

An artistic movement known as impressionism prioritizes the experience of the spectator over the actual picture in the painting. The French impressionist movement, which began in 1874, was intended to encourage artists’ freedom to pursue painting in ways other than realistic portrayal.

Bright, vivid colors are used in impressionist paintings to highlight an accurate depiction of the subject matter.

The primary goal of impressionism is to convey the artist’s interpretation of the current circumstances. Although the impressionist paintings lack many details, the colors are skillfully utilised to highlight the subject matter.

Modern impressionism uses color physics to determine the precise impression the color and tone of the painting should convey. In order to accurately depict an item, the influences of light and color are crucial.

The goal of impressionism was to alter conventional painting techniques so that they would concentrate on the subject rather than the audience. Impressionist paintings take into account the sort of feeling they leave the observer with.

Because it emphasizes the impression the image generates rather than focusing on creating a reproduction of the thing being painted, impressionist painting is regarded as an emotive genre.

Artists utilize vivid colors that are painted with quick strokes since impressionism does not focus on the fine elements of the artwork.


A group of American painters known variously as the New York School, the Abstract Expressionists, or Action Painters created the abstract art known as Abstract Expressionism in New York in the 1940s.

Jackson Pollock, Willem Dekooning, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Adolph Gottlieb are a few of the associational painters. These painters employed a novel technique to produce their work by emotion rather than thought, allowing the creative process to stand as a major component of its content.

Contrarily, the art movement known as abstractionism, which first appeared in the early 20th century, is distinguished by its use of geometrical forms, lines, and colors to produce non-representational art. The goal of abstractionism was to develop a visual language that is expressive in and of itself, divorced from any depiction of the actual world.

Wassily Kandinsky, one of the fundamental figures of abstract expressionism, is well known for his abstract paintings that make use of strong lines, forms, and colors to convey a feeling of motion and energy. Paul Klee, Mark Rothko, and Kazimir Malevich are a few more prominent Abstractionists.

Abstract art is non-objective art that doesn’t accurately depict visual reality but instead creates an impression using shapes, colors, textures, and gesture marks. It was absolutely innovative when it was created at the turn of the 20th century.

Abstract art is non-objective art that doesn’t accurately depict visual reality but instead creates an impression using shapes, colors, textures, and gesture marks. It was absolutely innovative when it was created at the turn of the 20th century.

The major characteristic of abstract art is its aesthetic departure from conventional molds; some people even contend that the first examples of abstraction date back to thousands of years ago in the form of cave paintings.

Abstract Art Movement

According to the definition given above, abstract art first appeared between 1910 and 1920 and continued to develop throughout the 20th century. However, there is no one specific time when abstract art first appeared.

Instead, its form can be found in the works of the earliest humans, who used line and circle to communicate abstract ideas in pottery, textiles, and even rock. Claude Monet, the father of French Impressionism, did, however, incorporate an abstract element into his picture Grainstack.

French impressionism was the forerunner of early abstraction between the middle of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, and the topic lost some of its significance. Do not overly mimic nature in your paintings, as Paul Gauguin said.

Art is an abstraction; get inspiration from nature when you’re thinking about it, and focus more on the product that will come from it than the natural world. Music abstraction served as a source of inspiration for Vincent van Gogh, who saw it as a separate language devoid of context.

The use of color in painting may be better understood with the assistance of this argument. Symbolism and other art trends strengthened impressionism, which led to the development of abstraction.

Remember that a painting, before becoming a combat horse, a nude, a tale, or whatever else, is simply a flat surface covered with colors combined in a precise order, remarked French symbolism painter and writer Maurice Denis in his suggestion.

His views made a significant contribution to fauvism and cubism. These movements also advanced the practice of abstract art. In addition to conventional painting and sculpture, there are various new models in the other arts that have an impact on the evolution of abstraction at this time.


In conclusion, the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the emergence of two different art movements: Impressionism and Abstractionism.

Impressionism marked a significant turning point in the development of art, and its innovations in color, style, and subject matter continue to have an influence today. It continues to be one of the most cherished and enduring art movements of all time, despite the initial controversy and criticism, and its influence can be seen in the works of many modern artists.

Abstractionism concentrated on producing non-representational art that is expressive in and of itself, as opposed to Impressionism, which sought to capture the instant sensation of a scene. Focusing on natural light and using freer brushstrokes, Impressionism was distinguished from Abstractionism by its emphasis on geometric forms, lines, and colors.