Edited by M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
The influence of French Impressionism on American art of the late 19th
century, though indisputable, was ultimately subtle and diffuse. Impressionism
never coalesced into a united movement in the United States, because it was
not formed under the same pressures and constraints as in France. Modern American
artists did not need to assume as rebellious a stance as their French contemporaries.
There was no state-sanctioned Académie that controlled opportunities
to exhibit and that determined style and subject matter. The American artist
was free to take what he wished from the new and modern continental art and
translate it to his or her own style without sanction. Moreover, the United
States had always been fertile ground for such experimentation and adaptation
of new styles. Thus, most American artists who had studied abroad developed
individual, and at times eclectic, techniques for representation and expression.
One such artist was St Louis-born Paul Cornoyer (1864-1923).
Pace BP. The Plaza After Rain. JAMA. 1998;279(15):1148. doi:10.1001/jama.279.15.1148