No one would ever call the Impressionists "Modern" by any standards, but they do mark an interesting break from Romanticism that does begin to point the arts toward Modernism. Their fascination with color and light - even more so than the Romantics - would prove to be the obsession with more than a few movements in the 20th century. Even more decisive would be their rejection of the overly emotional pathos found in all the Romantics preferring a more detached sensibility that, some exceptions aside, dominate the arts that would follow.
The one vestige of Romanticism which would remain through the 20th century would be a relentless pursuit of stylistic uniqueness on the part of the creators of the past century. Normality is viewed as poison to the artist demanding to be recognized as an individual. The result is a challenge confronting the students of Humanities as they are forced to sort out the ever changing patterns of styles. Like the Information Age we now stand at the threshold of, change becomes accelerated and seen in a kaleidoscope of competing styles which cascade in on modern society. The result is truly Existential in implication, where individuals - because of the bewildering complexity in the arts - become estranged and detached from what they see or hear. Unable to understand, the patron's anxiety becomes indifference, and the 20th century artists soon discovers he has no audience.
An easy to use list of all images used in the lecture