Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet
The term “impressionism” was initially used in a derogatory sense, implying something trivial and unfinished. The impressionist painter himself, Monet, considered “Impression, Sunrise” a simple sketch which he finished in one sitting. The difference between him and his contemporaries is that he considered the sketch worthy of being exhibited alongside works of art that more closely resembled “reality”. He understood that painting was an interpretation, rather than a reproduction, of reality. The sketch was, in fact, more “art” than the perfectly finished painting. The way of thinking about painting changed and the rest is history.