(Mary Evans Picture Library/Imagno)

 ABOVE: Impression, Sunrise , 1872, by Monet, was painted in Le Havre, France. Critics called Monet and his circle – at first ironically – “Impressionists” after the title of this work.

systematically refused acceptance by the Salon. The Salon of the Refused (Salon des Refusés) was created with the permission of Napoleon who decreed that the public should judge the works for themselves. Many of the public did not understand the art of the Salon des Refusés – many openly laughed at the presented paintings – but, from 1863 onward, Impressionism was to surge forward. Further Salons were refused and the young artists decided to fight back by opening their own exhibition. Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot, and Degas among others, organized a show at the studio of Nadar, a renowned photographer. Progressive artists were invited to exhibit, including Boudin. It was to be the first Impressionist exhibition of eight (held between 1874 and 1886).

Renoir was never considered a pure Impressionist – but the spirit of independence and its revolutionary approach bound him to the group. He turned from the movement for a time, defecting in the 1880s. He turned his attentions to the official Salon once again. A great supporter of his work (and those of other young aspiring artists) was the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel who kept the movement alive by organizing shows across the globe, notably in New York and London. He bought many works himself and Renoir was rewarded with success at the Paris Salon in 1879. By the 1890s, forms of Impressionism had become accepted by the Salon. Color and light greatly reflected the style of Impressionism. Brushstrokes were short, fast, and thick capturing the essence of the subject or theme. Colors

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