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Neo-Impressionism Collage

Neo-Impressionism

Started: 1884

Ended: 1935

Neo-Impressionism Timeline

Quotes

Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science."
Georges Seurat
"Divisionism is a complex system of harmony, an aesthetic rather than a technique."
Paul Signac
"The Neo-Impressionist does not stipple, he divides. And dividing involves... guaranteeing all benefits of light."
Paul Signac
"The golden age has not passed; it lies in the future."
Paul Signac
"By the elimination of all muddy colors, by the exclusive use of optical mixture of pure colors, by a methodical divisionism and a strict observation of the scientific theory of colors, the Neo-Impressionist insures a maximum of luminosity, of color intensity, and of harmony..."
Paul Signac
"I ask of divided brushwork not the objective rendering of light, but iridescence and certain aspects of color still foreign to painting. I make a kind of chromatic versification and for syllables I use strokes which, variable in quantity, cannot differ in dimension without modifying the rhythm of a pictorial phraseology destined to translate the diverse emotions aroused by nature."
Jean Metzinger
"To establish the Dream of realities...to strive for the pursuit of the Intangible and meditate - in silence - to inscribe the mysterious Meaning."
Henry van de Velde
"to represent the whole of nature in all its glory and splendor"
Wassily Kandinsky
"I believe that in our period it is definitely necessary that, as far as possible, the paint is applied in pure colors set next to each other in a pointillist or diffuse manner. This is stated strongly, and yet it relates to the idea which is the basis of meaningful expression in form..."
Piet Mondrian
"Instead of copying nature...we create a milieu of our own wherein our sentiment can work itself out through a juxtaposition of colors...we, taking our hint from Nature, construct decoratively pleasing harmonies and symphonies of color expressive of our sentiment."
Jean Metzinger

KEY ARTISTS

Georges SeuratGeorges Seurat
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Albert Dubois-PilletAlbert Dubois-Pillet
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Camille PissarroCamille Pissarro
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Vincent van GoghVincent van Gogh
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Paul SignacPaul Signac
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Henri-Edmond CrossHenri-Edmond Cross
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"I painted like that because I wanted to get through to something new - a kind of painting that was my own."

Georges Seurat Signature

Synopsis

In the latter part of the 19th century, Neo-Impressionism foregrounded the science of optics and color to forge a new and methodical technique of painting that eschewed the spontaneity and romanticism that many Impressionists celebrated. Relying on the viewer's capacity to optically blend the dots of color on the canvas, the Neo-Impressionists strove to create more luminous paintings that depicted modern life. With urban centers growing and technology advancing, the artists sought to capture people's changing relationship with the city and countryside. Many artists in the following years adopted the Neo-Impressionist technique of Pointillism, the application of tiny dots of pigment, which opened the door to further explorations of color and eventually abstract art.

Key Ideas

In order to more fully capture the luminosity seen in nature, the Neo-Impressionists turned to science in finding their painting technique of juxtaposing various colors and tones to create a shimmering, illuminated surface. By systematically placing contrasting colors, as well as black, white, and grey, next to each other on the canvas, the painters hoped to heighten the visual sensation of the image.
Neo-Impressionists aimed to produce correspondences between emotional states and the forms, lines, and colors presented on the canvas that spoke to the modernity of urban life in the age of industrialization.
Two terms closely associated with Neo-Impressionism - Divisionism and Pointillism - are practically interchangeable. Most broadly, Divisionism is a color theory that advocates placing small patches of pure pigment separately on the canvas in order that the viewer's eye will optically blend the colors. Divisionism became widely applied to any artist dividing or separating color while using small brushstrokes. Pointillism relied on the same theory of optical blending but specifically applied tiny separate "points," or dots, of pigment.
Most of the Neo-Impressionists held anarchist beliefs. Their depictions of the working class and peasants called attention to the social struggles taking place as the rise of industrial capitalism gained speed, and their search for harmony in art paralleled their vision of a utopian society. The freedom they sought in scientific study furthered their abilities to overthrow bourgeois norms and conventions that hampered their individual autonomy.

Beginnings

Neo-Impressionism Image

Georges Seurat and Chromoluminarism

By the mid-1880s, feeling that Impressionism's emphasis on the play of light was too narrow, a new generation of artists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh, who would later be referred to more generally as Post-Impressionists, began developing new approaches to line, color, and form. In 1879 after leaving the École des Beaux-Arts where he'd studied for a year, Seurat said he wanted "to find something new, my own way of painting." He particularly valued color intensity in painting, and took extensive notes on the use of color by the painter Eugène Delacroix. He began studying color theory and the science of optics and embarked on a path that would lead him to develop a new style he called Chromoluminarism.

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Neo-Impressionism Overview Continues

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Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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