Romantic era

Late 18th-century Europe saw a lot of upheavals. Napoleon’s revolution upset the social and political order. In a reaction to the pure reason of the Enlightenment movement of the 18th century, emotion and individual experience were championed.

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The term ‘Impressionism’ was coined to describe an exhibition of paintings by a group of painters who were unknown at the time. Their unprecedented style that focused on the capturing of fleeting impressions was met with shock and disgust and ridiculed in the press as ‘impressionism’. Today, these painters are anything but unknown: Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Degas and Pissarro.