Impressionism is a movement in painting that originated in France in the late 19th century.
Impressionist painters were considered radical in their time because they broke many of the rules of picture-making set by earlier generations. They found many of their subjects in life around them rather than in history, which was then the accepted source of subject matter. Instead of painting an ideal of beauty that earlier artists had defined, the impressionists tried to depict what they saw at a given moment, capturing a fresh, original vision that was hard for some people to accept as beautiful. They often painted out of doors, rather than in a studio, so that they could observe nature more directly and set down its most fleeting aspects - especially the changing light of the sun.
The colors in impressionist paintings have an overall luminosity because the painters avoided blacks and earth colors. The impressionists also simplified their compositions, omitting detail to achieve a striking overall effect.