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Centered in France, 1860's –1880's

Impressionism is a light, spontaneous manner of painting which began in France as a reaction against the formalism of the dominant Academic style. Its naturalistic and down-to-earth treatment of its subjects has its roots in the French Realism.

The movement's name derived from Monet's early work, Impression: Sunrise, which was singled out for criticism by Louis Leroy at the time of its first exhibition.

The hallmark of the style is the attempt to capture ephemeral impressions of light.