Episode #8 of the course “Art Movements Throughout European History”
After Impressionism had pushed the boundaries of depicting reality, artists strove to further experiment with colors, lines, and perspectives, representing ideals or movements that had been infrequently approached by previous artists.
The Card Players, Paul Cézanne
Painters like Georges Seurat not only used new materials to enhance color or the ability for paints to last, they also experimented with new techniques like short, choppy brushstrokes that played with the way that light is refracted and reflected. Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte showed his development into a style called pointillism, which takes on as its subject a new, modern, urban concern of the individual as a part of the collective.
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte
Despite origins in France, Post-Impressionistic art also included elements of art from around the world thanks to the travels of Paul Gauguin. After living in both the Caribbean and Polynesia, he sent paintings back to France, such as Two Tahitian Women, that brought a new aesthetic to European artists, influencing the European ideas of beauty.
Two Tahitian Woman
With brighter colors, different use of shapes, and interesting plays on perspective, Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh share commonalities in pushing Post-Impressionist art. Gauguin enjoyed success and acclaim during his career, while van Gogh did not earn acclaim until after his death.
Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh attempted to portray motion on canvas. His Post-Impressionistic style pushed the boundaries of color use and shape manipulation to engage the viewer’s perspective with the art. His paintings seem to shift as the viewer looks. Famous pieces such as his self-portraits and his sunflower series, including Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Flowers, express a vision of the way that life is made up of color. His most well-known piece, Starry Night, was painted while he was being housed in an asylum after cutting off his ear.
Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Flowers
The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh
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