The colours Monet used in Woman with a Parasol are beautiful; the green and blue of the grass and sky with wisps of purple, pink, and yellow for flowers. The angle of view makes it seem that the woman is either on a hill or that Monet is lying on the ground to paint this. This angle not only makes the sky appear much larger, but it also makes you wonder as to what is on the other side of the hill. This painting gives the feelings of ease, pleasure, relaxation; it’s like a breath of fresh air– you can almost smell the flowers and feel the sun shining in the 25 degree weather with a cool breeze blowing across your skin. For this image to make this “impression”, it needs to have the Impressionist style of light, loose strokes and colours that are not mixed, but appear to blend when viewed. If this image was painted in the realistic style, the feelings evoked would be much different. The image would not be so light, it would be much harsher.

Rosa Bonheur Ploughing in the Nivernais 1849 Paris

The realist painting Plowing in the Nivernais is a clear depiction of the style that realist paintings had. The painting is life-like, depicting “ordinary” activities done by “ordinary” people. The painting is beautiful, but in a different way than Monet’s impressionist works. This image is beautiful because of the technicality of it; the precision, scale, proportion, and detail. This image does not evoke emotion like impressionist works, though this was not the intention of the artist. Realist style was a reaction against Romanticism, which aimed to elicit emotions. This style is better at awakening the senses; the viewer can almost feel the cool soil under his feet as well as smell that characteristic smell of livestock.

Claude Monet Cliff-at-fecamp 1881 Nonnandy

While both styles of painting should be appreciated, the emotion provoked by an image is more influential than how visually correct it is. That is why people enjoy impressionism works so much. A couple of impressionism pieces are shown for your enjoyment. I love the colour of the water and sky in this painting. At first glance it looks like the perfect beach paradise, but if you look closely at the water, you can see his bold strokes of different colours. It amazes me how well they all blend to create beautiful ocean waves. This is another of Monet’s works that is just so light and airy.

Renoir Oarsmen at Chatou 1879 France

Renoir’s work, Oarsmen at Chatou, is another impressionist painting that is so enjoyable. Again, notice the use of colour and brush strokes to make waves in the water. The seaside grass is beautiful with its hints of blue. Everyone seems so laidback, even the woman in a gown. This brings back memories of relaxed summer days in the sunshine out on the lake with friends, without a care in the world.