Impressionism, a historical reconstruction:


Starting page


On this page you will find info on the painters who inspired the Impressionists, also known as the Pre-Impressionists. First you will find a starting page with links. Furtheron you will find short info on the so-called School of Honfleur, the 17th century French landscapists, Valenciennes and the 17th century Dutch landscapists.


Starting page:
On this starting page you will find links to the Pre-Impressionists.
Maybe the most important Pre-Impressionist was Jongkind, to whom I dedicate a seperate page.
Important also were the painters from the school of Barbizon (who painted in and near the forest of Fontainebleau).
A seperate page I will dedicate to Corot, who was the teacher of many ‘impressionists’.
Already in 1824 -/- English landscapists, were awarded at the Salon and inspired Delacroix, French landscapists, like the Barbizon painters and indirectly the Impressionists.
Also important was -/- Courbet, the leading figure of +/- Realism. Realism, is an art-movement that started before the Impressionists and inspired them and therefore can be seen as a pre-impressionist art-movement. But it also coinsides in time next to Impressionism. Therefore some representatives you will find on this web-site under Para-Impressionists


School of Honfleur:
The School of Honfleur is also called the School of Saint-Siméon because many of these painters gathered in the farm of Saint-Siméon. Among them were Pre-Impressionist like Dubourg, Jongkind and Ribot; Barbizon painters like François-Louis Français, Henri Harpignies, Constantin Troyon, Paul Huet,  Eugène Isabey; ‘impressionists’ like Boudin, Cals and Monet; para-impressionists like Bazille, Gautier and Lapostolet. See also at painting together. Some recon Lebourg to the School of Honfleur (iR69).
Sources: R22I,p52+53;R177,p53;R88II,p398;R161,p13+14.


Landscape painting in the 17th and 18th century in France:
Important landscape painters in the 17th and 18th century in France were Claude Lorain (1600ca-1682) and Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). Their landscapes had a predominantly mythological and historical character. Roger de Piles in 1708 called these landscapes heroic landscapes and discerned it from the pastoral landscapes. (R290,p11).


Valenciennes, his influence on landscape painting:
The art-theories of Pierre Henri de Valenciennes (1750-1819) were important for the development of landscape painting, see link for more info.



Dutch landscapists (17th century):
The 17th century Dutch landscapists painted nature in a more realistic and every day style, rendering the effects of light (R60,p51). Some of their paintings were to be seen in the Louvre (especially when it was called the Musée Napoléon till 1815), at private collections, through many collecions of etchings and by visiting the musea in the Netherlands.
Troyon visited Holland in 1847. To him the works of Aelbert Cuyp (1620-91) were a revelation. It made him decide to become a painter of cattle. Rousseau collected many etchings, including of Dutch landscapists like Adriaen van Ostade (1610-85) and Willem van de Velde (1633-1707).  It is known that several Barzizon painters copied the old Dutch masters. Le buisson of Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/9-1682) for example was copied by many artists. Huet wrote ‘Ruisdael enchants you and drags you along in sweet dreams’ (R290,p34). Also Rembrant (1606-69) and Johannes Vermeer (1632-75)  were admired for their straightforward portrayal of everyday life, without mythological trivia (R290,p8). Other 17th century Dutch landscapists were: Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709); Paulus Potter .
(Main sources: R290,p21-34;R60; see room 19 of the National Gallery in London =M61)



My main sources are Sillevis (1985=R290). See the link for other general References (=Rx) and to the internet references (=iRx). See here for explanation of the subscription of the paintings.



Recommanded citation: “Pre-Impressionism; starting page. Last modified 2023/08/30.