Influences on Impressionists

A nude woman sitting on a chair

Bonnard, 'Nude with pink Fabric' © Nationalmuseum, Stockholm


The invention and use of photography inspired Impressionists to capture the moment and the day to day lives of people.  The composition - the way the painting is put together - often resembled a snap shot. 

Photography challenged painting because it was instant and true to life.  The French Impressionists reacted by introducing their own perspective of a scene to their work.  They also used a wide array of colours, which set them apart from photography that was only available in black and white at the time. 


Japanese prints

Japanese prints also influenced Impressionist painters.  They were charmed and intrigued by their bight colours, flatness of design, sharp lines and everyday subject matter.  An exhibition in 1890 led to a craze for Japan amongst Parisians.