As both Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh are considered influential artists in the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism movements, there can be some confusion about who helped start the actual Impressionism movement.
Claude Monet was the founder of the Impressionist movement; his painting Impression: Sunrise (1872) is the painting the Impressionism movement was named after. Vincent Van Gogh is referred to as a Post- Impressionism. Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh were known to admire each other’s art.
Claude Monet Is Considered The Founder Of The Impressionist Art Movement
In 1874 a group of artists called the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Printmakers organized an exhibition in Paris. They organized this exhibition because the Salon of the French Academy had consistently rejected their artwork.
In this exhibition, Claude Monet showed a painting called Impression: Sunrise (1872). The French Journalist Louis Leroy saw the painting and the name of the painting; he coined the phrase “Impressionists or Impressionism” to describe the new art movement.
The name caught on and many Impressionism artist like Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot, Armand Guillaumin, Edouard Manet, Frederic Bazille, Edgar Degas and Paul Cezzanne all adopted the Impressionism name and style for their art.
Because it was Monet’s painting Impression: Sunrise (8172) from which the name Impressionism came, Claude Monet is usually thought of as the father of the Impressionism art movement.
Vincent Van Gogh Liked And Admired The French Impressionist Artist
We know that Vincent Van Gogh liked and admired French Impressionist art. He was aware of the Impressionists and all they were doing with their artwork.
His sister Willemien must have asked Vincent about the Impressionists and what Vincent thought about them and their artwork and paintings. Vincent wrote her a letter in 1888 that spoke about Impressionism:
We get valuable insights into how people saw the Impressionists and the movement. Most people did not understand their artwork and felt disappointed when they saw it.
We also gain valuable insight from this letter as we can see that Vincent was not talking about being one of the Impressionist artists; he knew their paintings and artwork.
In the same letter, Vincent Van Gogh explains to his sister how he sees the Impressionists and why he finds himself attracted to their art movements.
Vincent also wrote Willemein in the same letter of 1888 about how he felt about the Impressionists.
We discover from this letter that Vincent Van Gogh knew many Impressionists and liked them; he felt a kinship and alignment with them but was not necessarily part of their movement.
Most Art Historians, when they categorize Vincent Van Gogh, categorize him as a Post-Impressionist and not an Impressionist. We can see from his writings that even Van Gogh did not see himself as a full-fledged Impressionist but liked and admired the Impressionism movement.
Claude Monet And Vincent Van Gogh Admired Each Other’s Artwork
Claude Monet (1840 to 1926) and Vincent Van Gogh (1853 to1890) knew each other. In many of the letters Vincent writes to his brother, he talks about Claude Monet.
In a letter to his brother Theo, Van Gogh wrote this about Claude Monet.
We learn from this letter that Vincent Van Gogh admired Claude Monet and his work, especially his landscapes. We also know how people saw Monet and that he was a significant figure in the Impressionism movement.
We also know that Claude Monet admired Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork. Theo, in a letter to Vincent, told him about a conversation he had with Monet about Vincent’s paintings and a recent exhibition:
We learn from this that Claude Monet admired Vincent Van Gogh and his artwork, and Van Gogh admired Monet, but nowhere does Van Gogh say he was an Impressionist or part of the movement. Instead, he sees himself as an admirer of Impressionism art and Claude Monet.
Claude Monet does not refer to Van Gogh as an Impressionist, but we know he admired Van Gogh and his art.
Claude Monet is an Impressionist artist; in fact, he is considered the founder of Impressionism. Vincent Van Gogh is always referred to as a Post-Impressionist. Monet and Van Gogh had two different art styles and art movements.
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Were Van Gogh’s Last Words, “The Sadness Will Last Forever”?
Theo arrived in Auvers before Vincent Van Gogh died and could be with him until the very end. Theo recorded the events of the death of their sister Elizabeth and, in the letter, said that Vincent Van Goghs last words were “The Sadness Will Last Forever” (“La tristesse durera Toujours”).
By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Were Van Gogh’s Last Words, “The Sadness Will Last Forever”?.
What Art Tools Did Vincent Van Gogh Use?
Vincent Van Gogh used most of the essential tools that artists of his day used, such as oil paints, turpentine, oil, canvas, brushes, palette knife, and easel. We learn from some of the letters he wrote how he used these art tools for his paintings. We also learn from the letters how important these art tools were to him.
Is Vincent Van Gogh An Abstract Artist?
Vincent Van Gogh was not considered an Abstract Artist but is considered a Post-Impressionism artist. He is known to have admired the Impressionist artist, but he never saw himself as part of the group of Impressionists. Instead, Van Gogh had a unique style and choice of colors for his paintings.