Now that I’ve been taking an oil painting class and have done, oh, 6 oil paintings, I feel qualified to theorize on the Impressionist period of painting. The one with Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cassatt and whole bunch of others.
I enjoyed the Pre and Post Impressionist exhibits at the De Young Museum in San Francisco this year and last. It’s always a thrill to see paintings in person. There’s no amount of web interaction – as terrific as Google’s Art Project is – that can replicate standing in front of a great painting.
Here’s my theory – Painting in the Impressionistic style was way faster than painting in the realistic style. All those tiny brushes, and highlighting layers that ended up getting yellowish over the centuries anyway were unnecessary for those Impressionists.