Leon DelderenneFrench Landscape
Impressionist painting is currently the most popular of all European bodies of art. Part of the romance of Impressionism comes from the stories of uphill struggles against the Academic painters and critics who dominated 19th-century French art, only to be swept into obscurity by the artists they had scorned. However, a reaction was bound to set in, and during the final decades of the 20th century, a number of politically oriented critics began to argue that far from being radicals, the Impressionists appealed to bourgeois tastes partly because their technique was easy to digest and their subject matter inoffensive.
The Impressionists are unrivalled in their popular appeal and their paintings are among the best loved in the world. Drawn together by a common desire to bring a new kind of realism to painting, they astonished their contemporaries with their revolutionary treatment of color and light. Sunlight and dappled water, the evanescent atmosphere of outdoor scenes and fleeting moments in everyday life characterize their work at its most delightful. This painting shows many of the elements from the impression of the day as seen from the artist’s eyes.