From the Industrial Revolution to World War I, C. 1850–1914


What is post-Impressionism?

Post-Impressionism is a tricky category. The term literally means “after Impressionism,” though the fact that some artists are considered both Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, like Paul Cézanne and Georges Seurat, doesn’t help. Neither does the fact that most of these artists went through an Impressionist phase, and that some are also considered to be Neo-Impressionists, a term invented by nineteenth-century art critic Félix Fénéon to describe pointillism (a style attributed to Seurat). Regardless, the term “Post-Impressionism” is used to describe late nineteenth-century art that rejects the spontaneity of Impressionism, and is characterized by bright colors and defined brushstrokes. Post-Impressionist artists were not as eager as the Impressionists to dissolve form in their work, and therefore Post-Impressionism can be recognized by its relatively clear outlines. The most important Post-Impressionists include Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin, and other significant artists include Georges Seurat, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, among others.


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