French art movement of the late 19th century that, inspired by scientific knowledges about the physical compositions of colours, tried to render them in an exact as possible way. To this purpose the impressionists went into nature (plein-air-painting), to catch their subjects as they were. The surrounding light conditions let contours blur and the visual impression prevails (Atomization of the objective world).
Genre paintings in the closer sense depict everyday scenes of rural, bourgeois or courtly life. Here the term Genre is extended to all areas of human life. The early Genre paintings represent their motifs realistically, however oftentimes the image contents are to be understood as allegories, sometimes even as moralising artworks either praising idylls or denouncing human misconduct. Later in the 19th century the realistic component was brought again to the fore.