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Impressionism was a 19th century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists who began publicly exhibiting their art in the 1860s. The name of the movement is derived from Claude Monet's Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant). Critic Louis Leroy inadvertently coined the term in a satiric review published in Le Charivari.
Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible brushstrokes, light colors, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, and unusual visual angles.
The influence of Impressionist thought spread beyond the art world, leading to Impressionist music and Impressionist literature.
Impressionism also describes art done in this style, but outside of the late 19th century time period.