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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mapping of the essay by Pritha Biswas

JULY 15, 2010.

Map of Richard Shiff’s essay “Defining ‘Impressionism’ and the ‘Impression’ ”

Paragraph 1: Introduction
Defining Impressionism is next to impossible because the genre is an evolution of artistic processes.
Impressionism--terminology--obscurity of term--genuinely of artistic interpretation--classification of impressionists-- identity of impressionists--(1)social group--(2)artist’s subject matter--(3)style or technique--(4)purpose

Paragraph 2:
An artist must, in order to be impressionistic, associate with the group of artists who render similar thoughts.
Social group--voluntary association to impressionists--individual style--Degas works--claimed negative exclusion by critics--yet an impressionist--deviant Cezanne--claimed antithetical to impressionism--society of Salon--acknowledgement of Corot’s works--association imperative for artists--independence of style and subject matter--cannot be strictly adhered.

Paragraph 3:
It is in the subject matter of the art that art can be classified in genres.
Subject matter--impressionism defined by social affiliation of artists--”plein-air subjects”--Theodore Duret--stylistic criteria--classification of painters--impressionistic movement

Paragraph 4:
Art must never encourage identity of self in depiction but self identity in the style of depiction.
Style or technique--bright colour--sketch like finish of impressionist paintings--Charles Bigot and Henry Houssaye--profess elimination of effects of chiaroscuro--observed independently--style fails artist’s identity

Paragraph 5:
Impressionistic art is sense observation and self interpretation of the ultimate aesthetic goal.
Artistic goals or purpose--defining goals for purposeful distinctions among artists--critics vary in interpretation--Castagnary tags impressionist art technical innovation--warns of idiosyncrasy--natural imitation professed by Duret--lacks synchronous criticism and interpretation--impressionism is sensation of naturalism--critics miss vital aspects--unresolved quest--harmony of impressionism and symbolism

Paragraph 6:
It is in revolutionizing the medium of expression that art achieves evolution and development of newer techniques.
Approach to impressionism--means for ends--attributes of impressionism--mixed technique--deviation from formal drawing--exclusive and difficult effects--pattern less and unique

Paragraph 7:
The medium of aesthetic expression is in the command of the technicality that defines and artist’s work.
Technicality of Impressionism--specific technical devices--depiction of coagulated universal and individual truths--distinction of artists by manner--spontaneity in creation--brushwork and bright impressions

Paragraph 8:
Any form of art evolves out a mental imprint that gets shape and form around the content of its aesthetic message.
Impression signifies imprint--impressions of aesthetic vision--top layer of photo transparency--surface phenomenon--first layer of impression--inferential vision of artists

Paragraph 9:
It is in the ability to catch the primary idea of the flux that inspires the artist’s creativity that impressionistic art becomes successful.
Impressionism’s initial imprint--true nature of expression--natural disposition--concretization of innate qualities of expression--impressionistic attribute of character of artists--not imitation but invention--poetic nature
Paragraph 10:
The artist’s ability to infer from the facts that generate aesthetic thought gives art its ingenuity.
Impressionism--synthesis of nature and original sensation--innate expression on natural phenomenon--impressionistic effect of aesthetic vision--external and internal effects fused in unison--assumptive aesthetic cause--inferential effects imprints of mind--artistic psychology

Paragraph 11:
The self of the artist in any form of art cannot be denied because it forms the essence of all artistic interpretation.
Impressionism attains psychosis interpretation--nineteenth century--impressionism is perceptive physiology not metaphysical dogmatism--external objectivity expressed by impressionistic attributes--projection of self on nature--priority of self over technical depiction--impressionistic knowledge--unraveling of truth--impressionism perfect fusion of subjectivity and objectivity

Paragraph 12:
The distinction between the works of the great impressionists is in their treatment of their respective medium.
Impressionistic symbolism of modern art--emotional impression on visual realism--Manet’s works--reading of sensation--not sensory perception--not objective perception--sensations produced by objects in artistic depiction

Paragraph 13: Conclusion
It is in the projection of the self that art achieves its greatness.
Art is artistic self--artistic individuality--aesthetic license--artistic consciousness projecting individual realism of nature
There is no proper generic approach to defining Impressionism and the way Impressionistic style in art can be attributed to artists. Richard Shiff illustrates this idea by elucidating that it is difficult to define Impressionistic art, or for that matter, how artists can be classified according to the strictness of the genre. Shiff, throughout his essay, establishes the idea that an artistic theory, like Impressionism, cannot classify the modulus of art or bring into a strict pattern an artist’s intent and creation. Impressionism, as analyzed from the essay, is thus a style of depicting, creatively and instinctively, not professionally, creating the first impressions that comes to mind when a particular strain of thought gets depicted. It may be just depicting the shallow waters or the primary layer of thought that a particular event or an aesthetic consciousness generates in an artist. Shiff is commendably exemplary when he distinguishes photography and Art in the context of Impressionism, as defining it to be an “imprint”. The elementary difference between photography and art is in the medium of reproduction, which is the essence of all art. Photography is capturing the moment in time as an imprint but art is always contoured by artists ego, the creative psyche and personal interpretation of the flux from where the artists draws inspiration. Shiff also warns us about us misjudging Impressionism with Symbolism, where the latter depends more on hidden layers of meaning or interpretation. Shiff does this by drawing a clear distinction between Manet and Monet’s Artistic depiction of thought patterns. Where Manet’s depiction of impressions on the mind was objectively portrayed by solid brush strokes, Monet was subjective to his aesthetic rendering. The essay is conclusively remnant of the theory that Art is a projection of the artists self and this must be true to the nature of creation. Impressionism is thus the artists’ Impression on nature and not nature’s impression on the artist.
Works cited:
Shiff, Richard. “ Defining ‘Impressionism’ and the ‘Impression’. ” Art in Modern Culture: An Anthology of Critical texts. Eds. Francis Franscina, and Jonathan Harris. London/ New York: Phaidon, 1992. Printed.

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