What Is the Difference Between Expressionists and Impressionists?

Impressionists were painting artists who emerged in the 19th century, particularly during the 1870s and 1880s. Their works were characterized by a focus on the accurate portrayal of light to show the quality of a painting or movement. The use of light also highlighted the effects of passage of time. Expressionists emerged during the 20th century and painted subjectively; they sought to portray the emotions and perceptions elicited by events.

Impressionist painters emphasize accuracy in the depiction of the changing quality of light. They accentuate the element of time, light and movement to shape and determine human perception in their work. Impressionist works also have unusual visual angles. Impressionist techniques and tools include short and thick strokes of paint and complementary colors that yield dark tones.

Impressionists also make outdoor paintings that are characterized by bold and reflected images and surfaces. Expressionists' works are characterized by the depiction of items to reveal the subjective responses or emotions elicited when people view or encounter them. The expressionist is not only restricted to painting but also engages in dance, sculpture, cinema and theatre. Other disciplines include drama, poetry and prose. In music, expressionists are known to avoid traditional forms of beauty to express powerful perceptions and feelings in their music.