19 Famous Impressionist Paintings (Impressionists’ Most Recognized Works)

Do you like to hear stories that begin with struggle and end on a happy note?

If yes, you’ll love to know about these impressionist paintings.

But before we begin with famous impressionist paintings, let’s take a brief look at impressionism.

Impressionism was a famous art movement of the 19th century, born in France. The art movement embraced modern art and rejected traditional and religious themes.

Which is why painters like Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Edouard Manet, and others had to face rejection from everyone.

Their ideas, painting techniques, and works didn’t even get a green signal from Salon, which was the most renowned art exhibition in the 19th Century (France)

Why? 

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According to sources, the juries were a bunch of conservatives and who would approve art associated with traditional art styles.

However, these famous painters didn’t lose their confidence, and set up their own exhibition in style, which swiftly received love and attention from across France.

Later, these painters influenced aspiring artists, and this innovative art style eventually branched out and became a fully-grown movement in a few months. 

You’ll find hundreds of famous impressionist portraits, but these are our favorites (picked up by impressionist art historians)

Suggested Read: Water Lilies by Claude Monet

19. Camille (The Woman in the Green Dress)

Camille is featured in Camille (The Woman in the Green Dress), an artwork by impressionist
Image: Wikipedia

Image Title: famous impressionist painting, Camille

Camile is arguably Claude Monet’s most beloved impressionist art piece. 

This famous impressionist painting features his wife, Camile, who is seen wearing a black and green dress and standing in a position where her back is to the viewer with unnoticeable expressions. 

Claude Monet’s painting is made in a realist style. And the subject matter, Camille, wasn’t his wife at that point. She was his regular model and also his muse after marriage.

Usually impressionist style doesn’t emphasize details; this famous impressionist painting does focus each facet as its most portions are drawn accurately.

Impressionist art embodies the artist’s affection for his wife. Royal families would mainly commission such type of art but this impressionist painting was made out of artist’ passion and love for his wife.

  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1866
  • Dimension: 231 cm x 151 cm
  • Location: Galería de arte de Bremen, Germany

18. La Grenouillère

A view from La Grenouillere depicted in La Grebouillere painting
Image: Google arts & culture

La Grenouillère, another example of impressionism, which was created by two famous French painters, Claude Monet and Pierre Auguste Renoir.

Although they have their own versions of it; Claude Monet’s painting, comparably, received more fame and appreciation. 

Why? Claude Monet’s impressionist art had more profound effects than Renoir’. Renoir was master in producing art with right balance of light, colors, and components.

Plus, this art possesses the characteristics of impressionism; for instance, the use of brush strokes in a way that shows every element in a motion.

Hence, Monet’s art displays objects as if they are moving, be it people standing under the tree, chattering in the boat cafe, or others.

  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1869
  • Dimension: 75 cm x 99.7 cm
  • Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

17. Haystacks (Series)

Haystacks art by impressionist painter
Image: Wikipedia

Claude Monet had produced a series of paintings. 

One of them is Haystacks, widely known for its thematic use of repetition to show the differences that occur due to different weather conditions, seasons, and environmental changes.

Monet dedicated a healthy 18 months to this series of Impressionist paintings. Even Van Gogh was inspired by him, and he drew his version of Haystacks.

Although the subject matter was mundane, it received recognition because of its underlying theme, which focused on the effects occurring because of shifts in weather and seasons.

Over twenty five impressionist art pieces were made starting at the end of 1890 and continuing through the spring season.

It’s also reported that this landscape painting features subjects found from Monet’s Giverny house.

  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1890-91
  • Dimension (Wheatstacks: End of Summer): 60 cm × 100 cm
  • Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

16. Rouen Cathedral (Monet Series)

Claude Monet's painting feature Rouen Cathedral in his impressionist painting
Image: Wikipedia

Another great series of impressionist paintings—popularly known as Claude’s Church art. 

Over 30 canvas on paintings were created by this impressionist artist, depicting the facade of Rouen’s great Gothic cathedral from the Normandy region of France

Monet was fascinated by the way lights work and create effects on subjects when they falls, a similar inspiration from Haystacks. 

Each Rouen Cathedral features the same cathedral but with different colors. 

Rouen Cathedral later became the most-studied impressionism artwork because of its backstory. The artist put in his will and effort to make sure the art come out flawlessly; he would visit the cathedral to paint and observe it from different angles.

Interestingly, the majority of the art was made in the room near the cathedral’s west facade. Basically, he’d work from the cramped place but later moved to Giverny and continued working on Church painting from his spacious studio.

  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1892-93
  • Dimension (Rouen Cathedral, Full Sunlight): 107 cm × 73.5 cm
  • Location (Rouen Cathedral, Full Sunlight): Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Suggested Read: Best Pop Art Paintings

15. Two Sisters (On the Terrace)

Two sisters, a painting by impressionist painter
Image: Wikipedia

Renoir drew Two sisters on the terrace of Maison Fournaise, where he drew another impressionist painting, Luncheon of the Boating.

The composition isn’t extraordinary or unusual; it’s simple, featuring a young woman and her younger sister seated outdoors with a small basket containing balls of wool.

Although these two impressionist paintings have completely different scenarios, the younger woman was also featured in Renoir’s other work, Luncheon of the Boating Party.

The details are quite evident and profound; one can easily identify the emotions by looking closely at the expression, as this was the time when Renoir was moving away from Impressionism. 

But the bold brush strokes in the background significantly show it belongs to Impressionism.

This painting by Renoir signifies youthfulness and hopes and is often compared with other restaurant paintings by Renoir, like Luncheon of the Boating Party, Dance at Bougival, and Bal du Moulin de la Galette.

  • Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Created: 1881
  • Dimension: 100.5 cm × 81 cm
  • Location: Art Institute of Chicago

14. In a Café

An impressionist painting, In a Café
Image: Wikipedia

Edgar’s most meaningful work in impressionist style, originally known as Dans un Cafe.

The famous impressionist painting features a model, Ellen Andree, who used to appear in various pieces of Edgar’s art, including Plum Brandy, Marcellin Desboutin, and others.

The impressionist art sparked various controversies, resulting in a new title.

This painting in the Impressionist era hurt a sect of people; countless people showed disagreement with its art compositions and styles, whereas others looked at it as an awareness of the negative use of absinthe.

  • Artist: Edgar Degas
  • Created: 1875–76
  • Dimension: 92 cm × 68 cm
  • Location: Musée d’Orsay, Paris

13. The Card Players (Cezanne Series)

Two men playing poker in Cezanne's impressionist art
Image: Wikipedia

The Card Players, Cezanne’s highly recognized work, is actually a series of five impressionist paintings.

His last three paintings were widely popular, and the final one was the largest impressionist work in this series.

Each painting varies in size, characters, and scenarios. 

Cezanne took inspiration from 17th century Dutch and French genre painting to craft the concept of this art.

Although Cezanne was known for his dramatic scenes, conventional characters, and distinct narratives, this impressionist art featured only one unused bottle, lacking money and drink. 

Cezanne’s The Card Players, is among the most expensive impressionist works of art, and one of its art was sold in 2011 to the Royal Family of Qatar for a whopping amount of $250 million.

  • Artist: Paul Cézanne
  • Created: 1894–95
  • Dimension: 47.5 cm × 57 cm
  • Location: Musée d’Orsay, Paris

12. The Child’s Bath

The Child's Bath by impressionist art
Image: Google arts & culture

This famous impressionist painting was inspired by Japanese woodprints and Edgar Degas which showed the mother and child relationship vividly.

The care, love, and affection of a mother for her child are something that one can’t match.

The theme of this impressionist art was from the Cholera outbreaks in France, where health campaigns aggressively promoted taking baths regularly. 

Though mother-child depiction was a common theme in French artists’ work, he wanted to bring out the psychological, rational, and spiritual meaning of the lives of mothers who look after their babies and take care of their hygiene.

He also took inspiration from various paintings of Jesus and art around Madonna.

  • Artist: Mary Cassatt
  • Created: 1893
  • Dimension: 100.3 cm × 66.1 cm
  • Location: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

11. Poplars (Monet Series)

Poplars, a series of impressionist paintings by Claude Monet
Image: Wikipedia

Another popular series of impressionist paintings, made before Rouen Cathedral and after the Haystack series.

Monet rented a boat to travel to the location along with his art supplies to create this art. Though it costed him a lot and drained him as it wasn’t convenient to carry everything regularly to capture these images. 

Poplars is the only series of famous impressionist paintings in which Claude Monet invested heavily.

Paul Durand-Ruel commissioned him, and the funds he received were used to buy Giverny’s house, which later became his studio.

Poplars series tells you how invested Monet was in impressionism, as he would use the same subject under various light conditions in order to gauge the effect it provides.

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Over 24 paintings were made in this series between 1891 and 1992. 

  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1891
  • Dimension (Poplars in the Sun): 93 cm x 74 cm
  • Location: Different art museums and private collection

10. Little Girl in a Blue Armchair

A little girl slouching in the chair in impressionist painting
Image: Wikiepdia

Under the influence of Degas, Mary Cassatt drew Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, which was also a result of her being rejected at Salon.

She moved to Paris to become a painter, where she met Degas, who was also his muse and teacher.

Degas’s style inspired her so much that she joined the impressionist movement and made Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, which is one of her earlier works in impressionism

Art critics and historians would see this impressionist work as a testament to their newly formed relationship.

The impressionist painting beautifully emphasizes the light entering the characters through the doors in the background.

What really gives life and aesthetics to this art is its use of brush strokes. This famous impressionist painting debuted in several art exhibitions and gained fame across the globe.

  • Artist: Mary Cassatt
  • Created: 1878
  • Dimension: 89.5 × 129.8 cm
  • Location: Musée d’Orsay

9. Paris Street, Rainy Day

Paris Street, Rainy Day by impressionist painting
Image: Wikipedia

Paris Street: Rainy Day is Gustave Caillebotte’s best piece of Impressionism and depicts the wintery scene from Place de Dublin.

The art shows the artist’s passion for capturing characters and images, as he has kept the foreground unfocused, the middle ground a bit prominent, and the background indistinct.

The composition is contemporary—a complete outdoor scene in the afternoon, where you also find juxtaposition in a playful manner.

It’s a typical French scene, but lacking conviviality. 

  • Artist: Mary Cassatt
  • Created: 1877
  • Dimension: 212.2 × 276.2 cm
  • Location: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

8. Bal du moulin de la Galette

Bal du moulin de la Galette, a impressionist painting
Image: Wikipedia

Renoir’s Bal du moulin de la Galette is the most celebrated impressionist painting.

The painter beautifully displayed a Sunday dining scene to experiment with light and showcase subjects in detail. 

This is a great example of Renoir’s mature style, as it’s the perfect combination of realism and impressionism.

It has solid brushstrokes, a contemporary scenario, and a background that fascinated the eyes of the masses.

This famous impressionist painting was created two years before the first Impressionist exhibition was hosted. 

  • Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Created: 1876
  • Dimension: 131 cm × 175 cm
  • Location: Musée d’Orsay

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7. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde, a famous impressionist painting
Image: Wikipedia

The only famous impressionist painting that features a patron with his child.

Degas’s oil impressionist painting features Ludovic Lepic, his daughters, and a dog standing next to each other, showing their backs.

The scene in this impressionist painting is from the place itself Place de la Concorde, Paris.

The art wasn’t created at the location, but the artist took inspiration from photos. Which is why there is so much negative space, cropped figures, and unusual compositions.

  • Artist: Edgar Degas
  • Created: 1879
  • Dimension: 78 cm × 118 cm
  • Location: Hermitage Museum

6. The Cradle

A mother is watching her baby sleep in the Cradle, an impressionist painting
Image: Wikipedia

The Cradle, a masterpiece of Impressionism, was exhibited for the first time in the first Impressionist exhibition.

The art fraternity recognized it as one of the most meaningful impressionist paintings, made up of fluid brushstrokes and minimal colors.

Its sensitive and uncommon depictions drove eyeballs, but it didn’t garner adequate attention as the artist failed to sell it for a whopping amount.

For years, it remained in the family collection and was sold to the Louvre Museum. The Cradle is one of the very few Louvre paintings that failed to perform when it was supposed to.

  • Artist: Berthe Morisot
  • Created: 1872
  • Dimension: 56 cm × 46 cm
  • Location: Musée d’Orsay

5. Olympia

Olympia, an impressionist painting by Manet
Image: Google arts & culture

Another famous impressionist painting by Edouard Manet, first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon.

The nude painting, which has its own significance in the impressionist art movement.

Art visitors were taken back when they first saw this Impressionist example. Its subject raised eyebrows and put people in awkward positions. It was said that the character is a prostitute who is elegantly styled with minimal accessories.

The character Olympia was modeled by Victorine Meurent, who gave a confronting gaze, leaving every viewer in awe.

  • Artist: Édouard Manet
  • Created: 1863
  • Dimension: 130.5 cm × 190 cm
  • Location: Musée d’Orsay

4. Woman with a Parasol

A swirling woman in a garden being featured in Woman with a Parasol, an impressionist painting
Image: Wikipedia

A classic combination of landscape and human art, Woman with a Parasol.

This famous impressionist painting features Claude Monet’s wife and his son in an outdoor setting. 

Monet painted it in one session within six hours, which not only performed well in exhibitions but also inspired other landscape painters.

This impressionist art is very close to him, as he shows what a family outing is like. 

Animated brush strokes and vibrant colors obscured the facial expression; on the other hand, they added a layer of modernity, keeping impressionist characteristics in mind.

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  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1875
  • Dimension: 100 cm X 82 cm
  • Location: National Gallery of Art

3. Gare Saint-Lazare (Monet Series)

Monet's train series, Gare Saint-Lazare
Image: Wikipedia

Another series of Impressionist paintings by Monet shows the smoky interior of railway stations from various angles and under various atmospheric conditions.

It is a total of twelve impressionist paintings that are predominantly focused on one subject.

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Thick clouds of steam and smoke from the burning train obscure the subject matter. But you can identify that it tries to show the arrival of a train.

Only half a dozen of these train paintings were sent to the Impressionist third exhibition of 1877, which became the most discussed and studied about art by any artist.

  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1877
  • Dimension: 80 cm x 98 cm
  • Location: Fogg Museum, United States

2. Luncheon of the Boating Party

A perfect lunch scenario in Luncheon of the Boating Party
Image: Wikipedia

Renoir’s other impressionist painting, which made it to the Salon in 1882.

Renoir was heavily influenced by Renaissance artists, and in fact, this art had been inspired by “The Wedding Feast at Cana”.

The impressionist painter featured the hotel’s owner’s son, daughter, and several other friends, indulging in a myriad of daily activities.

Other artists would’ve imitated it, but Renoir’s knowledge and expertise were unmatchable.

Not only that, the hotel that was featured in it became so popular that people started recognizing the place as an impressionist heritage.

In this art, several traditional impressionist methods are used, such as the short, broad brushstrokes and sketch-like outlines that helped set the real vibe of the art.

The Luncheon of the Boating Party is one such painting every art lover looks up to, as its composition intrigues every viewer. If it intrigues you, or you wish to own it, you can have a replica of the Luncheon of the Boating Party ordered for yourself.

  • Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Created: 1880-81
  • Dimension: 130 cm × 173 cm
  • Location: The Phillips Collection

1. Impression, Sunrise

Impression, Sunrise, an impressionist painting
Image: Wikipedia

Impression, Sunrise is the most celebrated impressionist painting, featuring the port of Le Havre.

It’s Claude Monet’s hometown, which he decided to draw with loose brush strokes, keeping composition obscure and blurry.

Heavily influenced by landscape paintings, Monet, incorporated some impressionist features into this art. For instance, there is a little emphasize on light and colors, somehow it inclines towards category of abstract painting.

However, it consisted of the outdoor view, the sun being the focal point, the boat, with a hazy background, such composition was rarely being made by any Impressionist artists.

Impression, Sunrise, wasn’t about the representation of view which he saw out of his window, it was about how he felt.

  • Artist: Claude Monet
  • Created: 1872
  • Dimension: 48 cm x 63 cm
  • Location: Musée Marmottan Monet

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Conclusion

Impressionism flourished when France witnessed socio and political change.

Artists were able to travel the countryside and move to different parts of the country with their belongings and art supplies.

Steam trains played a major role in it. Because of that, painters were able to produce fine pieces of work like Haystacks (Monet Series), Bal du moulin de la Galette, and Gare Saint-Lazare (Monet Series), which later became famous impressionist paintings.

Renoir, Monet, Manet, and Edgar significantly contributed to impressionism. Their works even attracted massive attention from different parts of the world. 

We have listed some of their best Impressionist paintings above, which influenced several events in art history.

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