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Modern Artists in Post-Impressionism
Below are biographies and analysis of the work of the artists central to the Post-Impressionism movement. Read more about the movement on the Post-Impressionism Overview page.
The French artist Pierre Bonnard, although dismissed as old-fashioned by some of the avant-garde in his lifetime, was esteemed by contemporary colorists like Matisse. A member of the Nabis group in his youth, his innovative paintings play with light, decorative surfaces, and Impressionist techniques.
Paul Sérusier was a French Symbolist and Post-Impressionist painter, the founder of Les Nabis, and a key proponent of the late-nineteenth-century artistic movements Synthetism and Cloisonnism. Influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin, his innovative painting style incorporated vibrant color, abstract form, natural motifs, and religious themes.
Georges Seurat was a French painter who gave rise to the Post- and Neo-Impressionist artistic styles of the late 19th century. Seurat's greatest contribution to modern art was his development of Pointillism, a style of painting in which small dots of paint were applied to create a cohesive image. Combining the science of optics with painterly emotion, Pointillism evoked a visual harmony never before seen in modern art.
Maurice Utrillo was a French painter best-known for his cityscapes, particularly his scenes of the Montmartre district in Paris. Utrillo masterfully mixed classically accurate perspective with modern loose brushstrokes to create his deceptively simple scenes of the city executed in many of the styles of the modernists of his time.
Van Gogh, Vincent
Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter, commonly associated with the Post-Impressionist period. As one of the most prolific and experimental artists of his time, van Gogh was a spontaneous painter and a master of color and perspective. Troubled by personal demons all his life, many historians speculate that van Gogh suffered from a bipolar disorder.
Édouard Vuillard was a French Post-Impressionist painter especially known for his interiors and domestic scenes. A member of the Les Nabis group, his works are characterized by rough areas of color, pointillist daubs and dots, and decorative patterns that spread out across background fabrics and wallpaper.
James Whistler was a nineteenth-century American expatriate artist. Educated in France and later based in London, Whistler was a famous proponent of art-for-art's-sake, and an esteemed practictioner of tonal harmony in his canvases, often characterized by his masterful use of blacks and greys, as seen in his most famous work, Whistler's Mother (1871). Whistler was also known as an American Impressionist, and in 1874 he famously turned down an invitation from Degas to exhibit his work with the French Impressionists.