School of Impressionism
Characteristics and Historical Development

To deepen your response to a painting beyond the level of subject recognition, it is vital to gain an understanding of the expressive content. The visual form of a painting is what provides its unique flavor. A painting without expressive content would be as aptly communicated through a textual narrative.

Many factors shape how something is communicated through a painting. Here we will investigate two areas that have influenced the expressive nature of the Impressionist paintings in the Fleischer collection. Influences unique to each artist, such as where an artist trained, lived, and painted, are highlighted in the Fleischer Cyber Gallery.

Historical Events

Explore the historical events that led to the origination and spread of the Impressionist movement to California and Russia.


Find out why a particular painting is labeled Impressionist. Learn why the artists of this school selected certain subjects and how they wielded their brushes.