(596 words)
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Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Impressionism was born in Paris in the 1860s out of the Realist movement led by the prominent and politically-inspired Gustave Courbet who, in the wake of the 1848 uprising, had rejected academy painting in favour of unidealized paintings of people and objects. However the Realist most in favour with the impressionists was to be Edouard Manet (1832-83) who also chose to represent everyday contemporary scenes and objects - a noted contrast the grand heroic and classical topics favoured by earlier painters - but whose work was less political Courbet’s and concerned to liberate visual perception from all a prioris and conventions. Manet was the first painter to emphasise the canvas as a painted surface rather than aiming at …

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Editors. "Impressionism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 October 2003
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]