The Marrow of Modernism
There are many theories as to when Modernism had truly begun. In retrospect, some say that it started as early as the Renaissance with the true birth of Humanism; the idea of Humans being the center of focus instead of God. Also, with the concept that Man, was able to go to any level of The Great Chain of Being; an idea thought up by Pico della Mirandola. Historically, it has been substantiated that the beginning of Modernism started during the Impressionist/Post-Impressionist movements. An even closer look would reveal that Edouard Manet was the first modernist painter along with Claude Monet during Impressionism. Modernism is more prominent in Paul Cézanne’s later works during Post-Impressionism. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are the main influence behind Modernism because artists of that movement abandoned the traditional style of painting and in turn developed a whole new aspect to paint on canvas.
“There are four basic aspects to the modernists’ aesthetic: A belief in progress through technological innovation and rational thought, an opposition to tradition or convention, skepticism, and a re-imaging of environment and willingness to be recreated by it” (Cavalletto).
Edouard Manet first introduced the modernist style in his painting Le Déjeuner sur L’Herbe. The painting exuberated painterly style with large unblended brushstrokes and also introduced an dark outlining around figures and objects that created a flattening effect that rejected the three dimensional perspective that was highly used in the Renaissance era. The use of harsh lighting, extreme lights with drastic darks, sequentially, make the paintings look like a photograph. These painting techniques are just the tip of Modernism; there are numerous other techniques that derive from Edouard Manet’s works by other Impressionist/Post-Impressionist artists.
Claude Monet fully embraced Impressionism and being labeled an Impressionist. He was inspired by nature and...