Impressionism Technology

The Science & Technology Behind Impressionism

Impressionism can be seen as a classical conception where science-inspired art.

Today, artworks leave their very presence in the digital world of computing and print technologies.

As early impressionism attracted new audiences in art, an adaptation of what it means today will also interest a wider audience through present media. Such technologies are used today in business intelligence and data analytics.

Let’s look back at the past, how science and technology gave birth to impressionist art and sustained it to the present day and age.

The Camera

The camera did not come easily; it was imagined from about a thousand years before, after over 200 years of the design, the first photograph was taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1814. The camera finally came at the beginning of the 19th century.

Impressionism came in the second half of the 19th century.

It’s believed that photography influenced the making revolution of the first impressionists. This is evident in the fact that their exhibitions were done in the photographer’s studio.

Noticeably, the realism that the camera photographs produced inspired those artists to step in the direction of viewing art differently from the norm.

Optics and Color Theory: the science of Color and Light

From the discovery of Sir Isaac Newton in 1666, we now know better about color today. Based on the knowledge discovered, early impressionists were able to explore the territories of bright colors that were not conventional in their times. Their ritual included learning the physics of color and experimenting with live painting.

Looking at it critically, impressionism was a truly revolutionary work as it shaped how art was viewed while it is still inspirational today. Modern arts almost cannot do without the technology that creates impressions on stage or stories on the screens.

The principles of color and light are used to bring us the quality we see in high definition images.

Somehow, the revolutionary nature of the art that was pursued created the earliest forms of effects photography.

The resulting work of impressionist also became important in marketing style painting and photography.

Paints and other Discoveries

So far, the impact of Physics has been touched but Chemistry was not left out in the game-changing impact of technology in the art of painting.

If you’ve worked with creating artwork with editing software recently, you would know something of vibrancy and/when colors contrast. The idea of vibrancy was very dear to the first impressionists.

The Chemist, Michel Eugène Chevreul’s work with fatty acids was applied in arts and science. His contribution to the “visual phenomenon” of contrast and his book: The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colours and their Application to the Arts in 1839 was significantly influential.

Chemist, William Henry Perkin became famous and wealthy for making the first aniline dye, called Mauveine in 1856.

After this discovery, varieties of colors of dye were made. This added to the existing technique of collapsible metal tube that delivered mixed colors to artists invented by American portrait painter John Goffe Rand in 1841.


There are contemporary artists today who may be following the same spirit as the 19th-century impressionist.

The future of art and digital computing may also present opportunities to redefine the arts in a much similar way as impressionists did.

A future of some fuzzy machine painting or machine modeling might be a likely future in this territory.