The Differences of Impressionism and Expressionism

Art pieces are classified for both their conventional era and the technique in which they are created. We may have heard of the differing paints such as watercolors and oils, however most groupings are based on styles. An example of this is found in Impressionism or Post Impressionism Art forms. For hundreds of years, paintings had a realistic point of view. From Renaissance and Baroque to Realism, there was not much deviation in Artistic sway.

In the Eighteen Hundreds, Impressionism Art became more than a thought. The forefathers of Impressionistic paintings took a new concept and brought it to the canvas. Impressionism is known to have paved the way for future contemporary styles. Impressionism is directly linked to both Post Impressionism and Expressionism as the forerunner that opened the door for new inspirations. Knowing the trio of Artistic works will also help us understand the timeline of Art history and culture.


Prior to Impressionism, painting was thought to be an exact replica of the subject. In lieu of trying to duplicate a scene into a still life, Artists such as Claude Monet and Renoir saw a different vision. It was a personal observation of the world around them. Nature and surroundings were given a fresh look through an Artists eyes. Impressionistic paintings were not well received at first. The non-distinct blending of borders and varying color and natural light schemes were completely different than the precision of Realism. Famous works under this period include:

  • Waterlilies by Claude Monet
  • Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette by Renoir
  • The Luncheon on the Grass by Manet
  • The Bridge at Moret-sur-Loing by Sisley
  • The Boulevard Montmartre at Night by Pissarro
  • In a Café by Degas

Post Impressionism and Expressionism

Veering away from the Color and light collaborations of scenic surroundings, the next step of Art cam as Post Impressionism. This form of expression emphasized the use of emotion in their depictions. Whether it was how the Artist felt or the subject, this style was sure to show an array of emotions. Van Gogh and Gaugin are certainly well known Artists from the Post Impressionistic era. Their paintings used a specific contrast of tones to exemplify the aura and ambiance of the mood.

Paul Cezanne took the Ideas from Post impressionism and added his own perceptions of depth and special elements. This led to Artists experimenting with the inner workings of the mind and how they would be perceived visually. Expressionism takes the raw appeal of the subject or topic and allows for the viewer to interpret the very meanings behind the canvas. Vibrant colors and shapes swirl together with a prism of imagery.

These three motions have made a significant contributions in our Artistic history . The Arts are more than a painting or sculpture, it is an entire culture that adds a little bit of color to the world. It may represent the nation, country or individual, which is why certain artists shine so much.