Impressionist Art Cards

I love doing art appreciation with my kids.  Actual art projects, not so much.  So to keep it hands on and add the fun factor I’ve been making this series of art appreciation cards for my kids.  This installment is of Impressionist art cards.

Impressionist Art Cards

Of all the art movements Impressionism is one of my favorites, tied with the Hudson River School. I think it’s the nature element combined with the everyday that draws me to Impressionism.


Impressionism began in France in the early 1860s. A group of young artists wanted to push the boundaries of art by painting quickly, in the outdoors, scenes that appealed to them because of the colors, the light, and the emotion of the scene. They rejected precise detail, painstaking composition, and deep symbolic meaning in favor of their impressions of the moment. The young artists wanted to paint landscapes and contemporary scenes instead of mythological or historical subjects.

Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette
This is called “Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette” and is by Auguste Renoir. It sold for $78.1 million U.S. dollars in 1990.

The movement was rejected by the established art salons and the Impressionist painters struggled to find acceptance and money to pay the bills. Emperor Napoleon III got word of the rejections and declared the public ought to judge the works themselves and so a “Salon of the Refused” was set up and these artists displayed their work. The critics hated it, but the public loved it. This wasn’t the end of the struggle though. The critics and old-school artists continually put roadblocks in the way. Eventually in 1874 the artists held their own salon. Most of the artist’s work only sold well after their deaths. Today Impressionist paintings are highly desired art.

“The Cradle” by Berthe Morisot.

Print the Impressionist Art Cards

This set of free printable Impressionist Art Cards includes fourteen pieces by ten different Impressionist painters. We include works by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Marie Bracquemond, Frederic Bazille, Mary Cassatt, and Edouard Manet.

Click on the image below to open the pdf file for downloading.

Free printable impressionist art cards

How to Use the Impressionist Art Cards

Print these art cards and descriptions onto white card stock. Cut the cards out on the solid lines.
Help your kids become familiar with these paintings and artists by playing matching games, sorting the cards, and quizzing over them.

  1. Place the cards face down, with images in one group and description cards in another group. Choose one card from each group. Determine if they match. You can read the description of the painting to see if they do.
  2. Arrange the paintings in order of date. Which were painted first? Can you see a progression of techniques or style in the cards?
  3. Hold up an image card and see if your child can remember the title of the painting. After these are mastered, use the image cards to memorize the titles and artists together. Finally master the titles, artists, and a little information about the painting.
  4. Go online and find more art by the same artists. Can you tell which artist painted the piece just by looking at the style?

More From Layers of Learning

More art cards sets and explorations on impressionism can be found on our site.  Here are a few you might be interested in.

Besides all the excellent free printables and explorations we provide free on our site we sell full fledged, well organized, and complete curriculum units.  Every unit includes four subjects: history, geography, science, and art.  You can read more about our innovative curriculum in our Curriculum Guide.  Unit 4-6 includes a full set of hands on explorations for Impressionism.

Layers of Learning Unit 4-6
Layers of Learning Unit 4-6: The West, Southwest States, Earth Structure, Impressionism II

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