Impressionism was a 19th century Art Movement which originated in Paris and went on to have widespread practitioners and influence. The aim of the Artists who pioneered the style was to use paint to represent a scene caught in a moment - or the impression a scene left on them – by seeking to capture their emotional response to the transient effects of light, colour and nature rather than simply pictorially recording what they were viewing. To achieve this, the Impressionists would often work outside – en plein air – in one short sitting and use quick, small brush marks in a spontaneous and ‘dappled’ way to suggest the fleeting changes of light.

Artists who are synonymous with Impressionism include Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, Edgar Degas, Alfred Sisley and Pierre Auguste Renoir but it was Claude Monet who, inadvertently, gave the Movement its name. His painting ‘Impression, Sunrise’ was particularly singled out by unimpressed Art Critics who first used the term, Impressionism, as an insult to the Artists and their work.