Impressionism is one of the most popular art movements to this day, with many of its protagonists being household names. Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, just to name a few. Where did impressionism get its name from?

Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise, 1874

The first exclusively impressionist exhibition took part in 1874 in Paris by an artist group called Société Anonyme des Artistes. Even though the exhibition proved to be a hit, it was not a hit with the critics that found the works shockingly undone. Impressionism was a term appointed to the art movement by Louis Leroy who wrote a satirical review in the french newspaper Le Charivari. It was a mockery for Claude Monet’s painting entitled Impression, Sunrise, a painting that was less finished than a wallpaper in its embryonic state, according to Leroy. However, this name stuck to the art movement and instead of a satirical punch-line, it became one of the most important terms in art history books.