Neo-Impressionism (1886-1906)
Barbizon school







Neo-Impressionism is the specific name given by French art critic Félix Fénéon in 1886 to the Post-Impressionist work of Seurat and Signac and their followers. Neo-Impressionism is characterised by the use of the Divisionist technique (often popularly but incorrectly called pointillism, a term Signac repudiated). Divisionism attempted to put Impressionist painting of light and colour on a scientific basis by using optical mixture of colours. Instead of mixing colours on the palette, which reduces intensity, the primary-colour components of each colour were placed separately on the canvas in tiny dabs so they would mix in the spectator's eye. Optically mixed colours move towards white so this method gave greater luminosity. This technique was based on the colour theories of M-E Chevreul, whose De la loi du contraste simultanée des couleurs (On the law of the simultaneous contrast of colours) was published in Paris in 1839 and had an increasing impact on French painters from then on, particularly the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists generally, as well as the Neo-Impressionists. Seurat’s greatest masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,“ was the beginning of this movement when it first made its appearance at an exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris in 1886. For decades this exhibition remained the main space for the artists to represent their works. In 1886, Seurat and Signac were invited to exhibit in the 8th and final Impressionist exhibition, later with Les XX and La Libre Esthétique in Brussels. Finally, in 1892, a group of Néo-Impressionist Painters united to show their works in Paris, "in the Salons of the Hôtel Brébant, 32, boulevard Poissonnière." The following year they exhibited at "20, rue Laffitte". As an art movement Neo-Impressionism lasted for about five years (1886 – 1891) but didn’t end with Seraut’s death in 1891 and gave a huge impact for the latest art movements.




Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884–1886, Oil on canvas, 207.6 cm × 308 cm, Art Institute of Chicago

Paul Signac, Breakfast, 1886-1887, Oil on canvas, Kröller-Müller Museum

Jan Toorop, Broek in Waterlan, 1889, Oil on canvas, Indianapolis Museum of Art

Henri-Edmond Cross, Cypresses at Cagnes, c.1900, Oil on canvas, 80 × 100 cm, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris

Maximilien Luce, Montmartre, de la rue Cortot, vue vers saint-denis, c.1900, Oil on canvas, 40 x 50.2 cm, Private collection