On April 15th, 1874, in the Parisian studio of photographer Nadar, was the opening of the first group exhibition that was uninhibited by government interference and the dictates of an official selection committee. This date has gone down in the annals of art history because it marks the birth of the Impressionism. Impressionistic paintings now rank among the most popular works of art and are the pride of any museum or collection worldwide. However, in 1874 the public response to the exhibition, and to Impressionist painting, was not adoration but rather shock and even outrage. The Impressionists and the succeeding Neo-Impressionists were avant-gardist and revolutionary, paving the way for modern art. Present-day viewers, hardly realizing this revolutionary potential, can be content to enjoy the aesthetic of light and color.