Impressionism Limited

  • Eloise Knapp Hay


Impressionism, a magic word that conjures visions of the fresh, true and beautiful in art, has come to bear meanings it did not possess for writers and painters when the movement was alive. For Conrad as for James, impressionism was very different from what it became, for instance, in 1932 when Joseph Warren Beach classified Conrad as an impressionist. While both Conrad and James would have accepted the Impressionist painters’ principle that a true artist deals only with accurate sense perception, rejecting academic rules and fixed conceptions, both novelists found the Impressionist painters and writers who followed them (like Maupassant and Crane) to be deficient in one important respect: they rejected depth ‘analysis’ and the probing of hidden human ‘mysteries’.


Personal Remembrance Magic Word Translation Mine Academic Rule Early Stand 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Ford Madox Hueffer, ‘On Impressionism’, in Poetry and Drama (Paris, June and December, 1914), II, 167–75 and 323–34.Google Scholar
  2. 19.
    Quoted in John Rewald, The History of Impressionism (New York, 1973), PP. 372–4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eloise Knapp Hay

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations