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Pointillism: a point in Impressionism

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In 80-ies of the XIX century Impressionism began to falter, and young artists tried to come up with new techniques, to rethink popular style. They were called Neo-Impressionists.
Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image. The dots are close to each other, they can be round, square (an imprint of flat brush), or slightly elongated. If the composition is viewed from a certain distance, they will merge into a continuous picture. Creative method was invented by French artist Georges Seurat, who branched from Impressionism. Often Neo-Impressionism and Pointillism used as synonyms.
The colors on such canvases are usually bright, clean, airy. Pointillists used colors range and themes of the Impressionists, but with another technique — point brushstrokes - this is the main difference between the art movements.
The Divisionists, too, used a similar technique of patterns to form images, though with larger cube-like brushstrokes


At the last Impressionist exhibition in 1886 Georges Seurat presented a painting «A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte», painted with miniature dots and small brushstrokes (the painting is exhibited today at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago). Part of recognized masters condemned the innovator, others began to use his technique. For example, Camille Pissarro, one of the founders of the Impressionism, had been painting in this technique for five years, thus supporting younger colleagues.

Points in pointillism can be large - as, for example, in the picture Paul Signac "The Pine Tree At St. Tropez", or very small, almost imperceptible, as in the work of Georges Seurat "The Models"

Paul Signac. Pine in Saint-Tropez
Georges Seurat. A model

One of the most expensive works of pointillists is «Au Divan japonais» by Georges Seurat, painted in pencil and gouache. In 2008 it was sold for 4,992,750 euros at Sotheby’s auction.

Famous pointillists

Paul Signac, Henri-Edmond Cross, Georges Seurat, landscape artist Henri Martin
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