Originally a derogatory name given to a broad movement which emerged in Paris on the occasion of an independent exhibition in 1874. The name was suggested by one of the exhibits: Impression: Sunrise (1872) by French painter Caude Monet.
Although no manifesto for their theories was formulated, the Impressionists' aim was to achieve a greater naturalism by: the rendition of flickering light and shade on objects; the analysis of color, based on the theories of MICHEL EUGENE CHEVREUL (1786-1889); and 'plein air' painting in a loose and free style.
R Shattuck, The Banquet Years: The Arts in France 1885-1918 (1959)
Also See:· post-impressionism