They were an interesting bunch, the French Impressionists, and drew many non-French Impressionists into their orbit. They changed Western art - and the way we view it - forever. In case you think that last is hyperbole, take the picture above as an example. This landscape is by American painter Childe Hassam, who became so enamored with the Parisian art scene during an 1883 visit that he returned in 1886 to study for three years at the Académie Julian. He neither worked with the Impressionists nor identified himself as one.
But! Look at the brushwork. It's broken, meaning we can see separate areas of color. There's no careful blending, no smoothness, no neat transitions. It's a study of pure light and color and that, you see, is what the Impressionists gave to Childe Hassam and the rest of us. By thinking outside of convention, they freed themselves and every artist who worked afterwards to forge into newer and more abstract ways of seeing. Multiply Hassam's experience by dozens of thousands, and the picture becomes more clear that Impressionism set everything in visual art on its ear.
I thought it'd be fun to spotlight seven gentlemen and one lady from the original group, in order that you could test your knowledge of these seminal, artistic titans. If you get all 20 questions correct, kudos! That would be a much higher percentage than the person who wrote the quiz enjoyed. (She had to look everything up.) Enjoy, and good luck.
Quiz: Know Your French Impressionists
Frederick Childe Hassam's Poppies on the Isles of Shoals (1890) can be seen with nine other Impressionist masterpieces in the special exhibition gallery Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism.