Effect Of Postimpressionists On The Next Generation

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Postimpressionism was a movement in late-19th-century French painting that emphasized the artist's personal response to a subject. Postimpressionism takes its name from an art movement that immediately preceded it: Impressionism. But whereas impressionist painters concentrated on the depiction of a subject's immediate appearance, postimpressionists focused on emotional or spiritual meanings that the subject might convey. Although impressionist artists interpreted what they saw, their approach nevertheless remained rooted in observation of the natural world. Postimpressionists conveyed their personal responses to the world around them through the use of strong, unnatural colors and exaggeration or slight distortion of forms.

Postimpressionism can be said to have begun in 1886, the year that French painter Georges Seurat exhibited Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-1886), and to have ended in 1906, the year French painter Paul Cézanne died. British art critic Roger Fry, however, coined the term postimpressionism, in 1910 when he organized an exhibition of French paintings at the Grafton Galleries in London. Fry is said to have been dissuaded from using the word expressionist to describe the work of Cézanne, Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, and others, and to have finally declared: "Oh, let's just call them post-impressionists; at any rate, they came after the impressionists." The term was firmly established when Fry held a second show of postimpressionist art at the Grafton Galleries in 1912.

The Postimpressionists

The painters most closely associated with postimpressionism all took part in Fry's first exhibition: Cézanne, Seurat, Gauguin, Matisse, and van Gogh. Although their styles differed greatly from one another, these artists shared an ability to communicate concepts, emotions, or personal sensation through their art.

Unlike other postimpressionists, Paul Cézanne did not create symbolic equivalents between elements of his paintings and particular emotions or concepts. Instead, Cézanne, who began his career as an impressionist, felt that he could communicate the intensity of his personal sensation through his painted observations of nature. He repeatedly turned to traditional artistic subjects, such as landscapes, still lifes, and nude bathers. However, his r...

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...m, used more decorative shapes, stencilling, collage, and brighter colors. It was then that artists such as Picasso and Braque started to use pieces of cut-up newspaper in their paintings.

An early 20th-century school of painting and sculpture in which the subject matter is portrayed by geometric forms without realistic detail, stressing abstract form at the expense of other pictorial elements largely by use of intersecting often transparent cubes and cones.

Cézanne influenced cubism, the highly influential visual arts style of the 20th century that was created principally by Picasso and Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, rejecting the traditional techniques of perspective, foreshortening, modeling, and chiaroscuro and refuting time-honoured theories of art as the imitation of nature.

Cubist painters were not bound to copying form, texture, colour, and space; instead, they presented a new reality in paintings that depicted radically fragmented objects, whose several sides were seen simultaneously.

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