Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin, an artist, printmaker and expert in woodwork, is now recognized for his experimental use of color and synthetist style that was considered a startling departure from the Impressionist methods that came before. An important artist from the Post-Impressionism Era, Gauguin’s work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists who name him as a great innovator, Pablo Picasso being one of such. Gauguin was a figure in the Symbolist movement and his bold use of color led to the eventuality of modern art, specifically the Synthetist style.
From the efforts of art dealerAmbroise Vollard who organized exhibitions of his work late in his career, Gauguin gained some posthumous praise and is now considered one of the great artists who paved the way to new modern expressions of art.
Mary Stevenson Cassatt, born in 1844, was an American painter and printmaker. She was born in Pennsylvania, but spent most of her life in France, where she befriended many Impressionist painters, and where she subsequently exhibited works with the Impressionists. Mary first exhibited her work alongside the Impressionists in 1877 — the only American artist to exhibit her work with them.
Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of her subjects, with a particular emphasis on the human form and the intimate bonds between mothers and children. In 1893, Mary Cassatt created the oil painting with mother figure and a young child. The scene captured the ritual of a parent bathing a child.
The painting, entitled The Child’s Bath, with its then unorthodox composition, is considered one of Cassatt’s masterworks. Cassatt utilized new techniques like cropped figures, bold outlines, and 2-D perspective, most likely derived from her passion for Japanese woodblock prints that was sparked after she saw Japanese woodcuts at the Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris during an exhibition.
The Child’s Bath
Cassatt was greatly influenced by Impressionist like Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and especially Edgar Degas. Though her painting genre innately put her in the company of mostly men, Cassatt was a feminist from a young age and attempted to avoid the stereotype of being just a female artist.
As well as being an accomplished painter, Mary Cassatt was an activist as well as feminist and supported women’s suffrage. In 1915, she showed eighteen works in an exhibition supporting the movement organised by Louisine Havemeyer, a stalwart, active feminist.
Though many unfamiliar with her history would deem her as just the female Impressionist artist, Mary Cassatt was an intrepid and open-minded artist with the true spirit of the Impressionist movement within her. Her intimate portrayals of the human figures and their interactions were markedly different from her male counterparts, and her contribution cannot be dismissed.
Mary Stevenson Cassatt died on June 14, 1926 at Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, and was buried in the family vault at Le Mesnil-Théribus, France.
The industrial revolution was possible because of increased trade, which in turn created increased revenue, thus accelerated the industrial revolution. The focus of many studies of the industrial revolution focused on factories, mechanized textiles, steam power, and the use of steel, and how they transformed the urban landscapes of the United States and much of Europe. The industrial revolution contributed significantly to the urbanization and growth of cities — and the rise of financiers and industrialists.
Present day Gare St-Lazare
The industrial revolution changed the way artists worked, and how they worked. Paints and tools were now mass produced and cheaper, which led way for “starving artists” to become more prolific than they could before. Artists being geniuses for capturing their environments, often used the backdrop of the revolution into their work. Claude Monet’s Gare St-Lazare was a perfect example of his depiction of the changing landscape of the world.
Oscar-Claude Monet was an artist known as being the founder of French Impressionism. In fact, the word “impressionism” comes from his painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise). Though many of his paintings during this era usually represented landscape paintings of the French countryside, Monet adapted his studies of light and shadows of his country landscapes to the changing landscape of the country. Monet used his skill of observation to translate the light and dark of the coming of industrial technology.
In January 1877, Monet rented a small flat and a studio near the Gare St-Lazare, and in the third Impressionist exhibition which opened in April of that year, he exhibited seven canvases of the railway station. Gare is one of four surviving pieces of the interior of the station. Though many artists rendered the station, none were as compelling as this series by Monet.
Instead of showing industry as a grotesque, pollutant, in Monet’s canvas seemed to exist a beauty in its portrayal. Using swift brushstrokes, the artist was able to create an energy and excitement: smoke rising, engines churning, and people crowding on the platform against an industry-covered sky. The choppy, cropped subjects in the foreground to the quick strokes and combination of colors Monet used created a scene of frenetic energy. Being the master he was, there is no doubt that forcing the viewer to shift their eyes back and forth to capture the entire scene was intentional — to create a frenzied symphony of movement.
The iconic painting successfully depicted the smoke and fiery of the Industrial Revolution as it roared into the next era.
About the Author
A finance executive with more than three decades of experience in investment banking, Irvin Goldman currently manages investments as president of Validity Holdings in New Jersey. Learn more about Irvin.