While other movement before Impressionism attempted to capture reality as static images, the Impressionist painters, and later the composers, tried to show the nature of reality through the fluctuation and change in light, tone and color. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a group of artists united in an attempt to create a new style and technique of art based on direct observation of reality and to a subjective impression or mood of reality. This is evident from the emotional moods that are so eloquently captured in this exhibition.
Many of the paintings reveal the success of their attempts and the resulting masterpieces of Impressionism. For example, Claude Monet's Haystacks is a work that no student or lover of modern art should miss. During the 1870's Monet developed his unique technique for painting atmospheric light rendered by means of rhythmic and broken brush strokes. This painting is an example of the impressionist aim of capturing transitory nature by means of direct observation. In Haystacks (1891) Monet succeeds in creating solid geometric shapes with nuances of light and color. The presentation of light and color is one of the most beautiful things about this type of art, and demonstrates the overall beauty behind this movement. Emotion in art was not a focus; rather the atmosphere and look of the painting expressed the beauty of the picture overall.
Music is another medium where the beauty behind this period truly stands out. During this time period, classical music as mostly influenced in France toward the end of the nineteenth and through the twentieth century. The focus within the music was on both atmosphere and suggestion, and not necessarily on strong emotion or the presentation of a story, generally presented in program music. Much of this music, like the art, was a reaction against Romanticism, and the focus of Impressionist music was to use a sort of dissonance as well as uncommon scales. This is comparable to the impressionist style of painting, in which, when one stands close up, one sees the dissonance of the picture. However, the dissonance and difference is what creates the general attraction and beauty in the music itself. Claude DeBussy is an example of a successful Impressionist composer. His music in The Three Nocturnes includes characteristic studies in veiled harmony and texture, creating an overall atmosphere of difference, but this difference creates a feeling of respect and beauty. The work itself is not a usual nocturne, but is given to create the impression of the effects light would suggest. This includes the motion of the clouds as well, as they fade away with the sound of the music. The background of the piece remains consistent, thus blending music into a kind of cosmic rhythm.
Therefore, both the works of DeBussy and Monet present the beauty behind this time period. Although this movement had its focus on creating "impressions" of the real thing, there was a great deal of beauty and talent that went into creating those impressions. The result in the case of art is a beautiful combination and focus on light within one's visual aspect, and within music, one is able to experience the feeling and movement of life by listening to music. Therefore, both of these concepts present