Impressionism developed in France in the nineteenth century and is based on the practice of painting out of doors and spontaneously ‘on the spot’ rather than in a studio from sketches. Main impressionist subjects were landscapes and scenes of everyday life
Impressionism was developed by Claude Monet and other Paris-based artists from the early 1860s. (Though the process of painting on the spot can be said to have been pioneered in Britain by John Constable in around 1813–17 through his desire to paint nature in a realistic way).
Instead of painting in a studio, the impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by working quickly, in front of their subjects, in the open air rather than in a studio. This resulted in a greater awareness of light and colour and the shifting pattern of the natural scene. Brushwork became rapid and broken into separate dabs in order to render the fleeting quality of light.
“One morning one of us had run out of black; and that was the birth of impressionism”. – Pierre-Auguste Renoir