Post-Impressionism Discussion

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Post-Impressionism is a 19th century art movement that was formed between the year 1886 and 1905. It comprises of painters who worked independently led by Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Georges Seurat. There was a movement that was reacting to impressionists’ concerns about the representation of light and color. The Post-Impressionists were discontented with an impressionism style focused on the eye perception and subject matter in paintings by impressionists. Therefore, they started a movement whereby they employed various artistic styles to advance impressionist art techniques. Post-Impressionism contains synthetism, Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism and Pont-Aven schools.
Most of the Post-Impressionists started as Impressionists, but at some point, they denied the style and built their independent or rather personal art. This was because they were against the Impressionism idea whereby they were limited to painting nature regarding elusive effects of light and color. According to Goldman, Post-Impressionists felt that they were limited in their freedom to use colors and light and they came up with a more personal form of expression where they are not restricted to the ideas of Impressionism (23). The artists used independent artistic styles instead of visual impressions in their artwork. Through their exceptional artistic expressions and independent techniques, Post-Impressionists have managed to influence groups of artists, for instance, the German artists, the Nabis (Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, the American expressionists (John Marin and Marsden Hartley), the Fauvists such as Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso.

Paul Cezanne, the father of Post-Impressionism, was the most influential individual in this movement. He followed different paths while searching for realistic intellectual and artistic accomplishments in painting (Chipp, Selz, and Taylor 16). Cezanne’s idea of using geometrical shapes moved Post-impressionism to another level of cubism, which has influenced several contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso.

On the other hand, Georges Seurat is a Post-Impressionist who is behind the idea of Neo-Impressionism and pointillism. Seurat worked on exploring a scientific approach to the illustration of color, which improved Impressionists’ interests in optics while painting. Seurat used color in different ways to visually blend a painting in the eyes of the viewers because there were no limitations. George Seurat developed Pointillism whereby dots and colors are used to create art.

Another Post-Impressionism artist who has contributed to the modern art is Vincent Van Gogh with his art of Gauguin. The artist is behind artists’ expression of sensations and emotions through color and light. He introduced the use of wide brushstrokes and saturated colors to induce the inner uproar of artists (Chipp, Selz, and Taylor 24). Van Gogh’s painting had a screaming and vibrant effect because of the use of saturated colors after rejecting naturalism in his paintings. Through the outstanding colors in his personal paintings, Van Gogh has influenced modern artists of the 20th century.

In essence, Post-Impressionism is a movement that rejected naturalistic approach or art and moved towards Cubism and Fauvism. The Post-Impressionists dismissed the Impressionism limitations and built their personal art, which has influenced the modern art. Therefore, post-Impressionism includes a variety of different artistic styles from different independent artists who share a common motivation after they rejected the Impressionist movement ideas. The post-Impressionism movement has steered a new painting era whereby artists are no limited to Impressionism because they work independently. Artists such as Paul Cezanne, Georges Seurat, and Van Gogh have laid the foundations of the 20th-century art through Post-Impressionism with their creative personal art styles and techniques.

Works Cited

Goldman, Jane. The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf: Modernism, Post-Impressionism, andthe Politics of the Visual. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Print.

Chipp, Herschel Browning, Selz Peter Howard, and Taylor Joshua Charles. Theories of ModernArt: A Source Book by Artists and Critics. Vol. 11. California: Univ of California Press,1968. Print.

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