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Our Guide to Impressionist Landscape Paintings

Impressionist landscape paintings are characterized by their loose, spontaneous brushwork and vibrant, bright colors. Impressionism is a style of painting that emerged in the late 19th century and was characterized by a focus on capturing the fleeting effects of light and color, rather than accurately representing the physical details of a scene.


There are several techniques that were commonly used by impressionist landscape painters to achieve the desired effect in their paintings. These include:


  1. Broken color: Rather than mixing paint on the palette, impressionist painters would apply small dabs of pure, undiluted color to the canvas, allowing the viewer's eye to blend the colors together.
  2. Plein air painting: Many impressionist landscape painters preferred to paint outdoors, directly from nature, in order to capture the changing effects of light and atmosphere. This technique is known as "plein air" painting.
  3. Impasto: Impressionist painters often used thick, textured brushstrokes to create a sense of movement and energy in their paintings.
  4. Unconventional compositions: Impressionist landscape painters often broke with traditional compositions, framing their scenes in unexpected ways and focusing on areas of the landscape that might not have been considered important in the past.

Some common subject matter for impressionist landscape paintings included urban scenes, gardens, and the countryside. Famous impressionist landscape painters include Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro.


Characteristics that distinguished these artists included their use of bright, vibrant colors, loose brushwork, and a focus on capturing the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere. Monet, in particular, is known for his series of paintings of the same subject at different times of day, showcasing the changing effects of light on the landscape.


Interested in decorating with impressionist landscape paintings? Check out our selection below.