Neo-impressionism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Neo-Impressionism is a term coined by the French art critic Félix Fénéon in 1887 to characterise the late-19th century art movement led by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, who first exhibited their work in 1884 at the exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris. Fénéon's term pointed to the roots of this recent development in the visual arts in Impressionism, but offered at the same time a fresh reading of artistic means like color and line based on the practice of Seurat and Signac, and its theoretical background in the writings of Chevreul and Charles Blanc.

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The technique of the Neo-Impressionists, called Chromoluminarism or Divisionism, involves breaking color into its basic elements, by painting in very small and regular dots. From a distance the multiple dots form an optical mixture of color. The best known example is Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-1886).

The definition Seurat and Signac provided for their way to analyze - vulgo, to see - and to reproduce reality is consistent. Hostile critics coined the term Pointillism to humiliate the artists working in this way; a century later, this term is relevant for the evaluation of former critical positions. The term "Pointillism" can also describe the work of later followers and imitators of the Neo-Impressionists who paint in dots, though not necessarily with the aim of breaking color.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Neo-impressionism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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