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Invention of Pointillism

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 1


Pointillism is a form of fine arts. It is a painting technique that uses small and distinctive points or dots of different colours to represent a whole picture. The term “pointillism” is derived from a French word “point” the meaning if which is “dot”. This technique is a Neo-Impressionism painting technique, that uses thousands of small points or dots and dashes of colour, which are applied to a canvas or on the ground, so that it creates maximum luminosity. In pointillism, pure unmixed colours are applied directly to the picture and totally relies on the eyes of the viewer, on how they see the picture and mix the colours visually. Pointillism is a specific form of Divisionism and is mentioned as one of the influential style of Post-Impressionist painting, which is developed and became popular in between the years 1880 to 1895. This form of painting was used practiced in different schools during this time. The Italian Divisionism, is worth mentioning and were the most active, it was led by Vittore Grubicy De Dragon (1851-1920).

Invention of Pointillism

Georges Seurat, was a model student, who studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris invented the technique of Pointillism. The great man was born in Paris, France on 2nd of December, 1859 and he died in the year 1891. This revolutionary painting technique was invented by this exceptionally talented person which inspired an art movement. When he was twenty-five years of age, he created the first masterpiece which is named as, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”. Saurat focused on the progression and maturation of the science that are related to colour and other arts.  His most prominent works are listed below:

  • A River Bank (The Seine at Asnières) (Paintings)
  • A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (Paintings)
  • Angler (Paintings)
  • Bathers at Asnières (Paintings)
  • Bridge at Courbevoie (Paintings)
  • Circus Sideshow (Paintings)
  • Clothes on the Grass: Study for 'Bathers at Asnières'(Paintings)
  • Horses in the water (Paintings)
  • La Chahut (Paintings)
  • Le Bec du Hoc Grandcamp (Paintings)
  • Moored Boats and Trees (Paintings)
  • Seascape at Port-en-Bessin Normandy (Paintings)
  • Study for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (Paintings)
  • The Channel of Gravelines Grand Fort-Philippe (Paintings)
  • The Circus (Paintings)
  • The Lighthouse at Honfleur (Paintings)
  • The Morning Walk (Paintings)
  • The Seine seen from La Grande Jatte (Paintings)
  • View of Fort Samson (Paintings)
  • Young Woman Powdering Herself (Paintings)

Colour theory behind the Neo-Impressionism

Divisionism is based on the idea of “optical mixing”, and involves the mixing of coloured lights that a viewer perceives with their eyes. In regular painting, the artists used to mix the physical pigments. The colour theory by Eugene Chevreul, who wrote the book De la Loi Du Contraste Simultanee Des Couleurs, which was based on the law of simultaneous contrast of the colours. The colour theory stated that, physically mixed colours are less luminous and less intense than optically mixed colours. In later studies of Modern Chromatics, with Applications to Art and Industry, the author which is Ogden Rood, who in his book explained and confirmed that different coloured lights have different behaviour and, he also provided the different behaviour of the coloured pigment. Using this technique the luminosity of the painting scan be increased. The pointillists formulated their own system of pure-colour comparison, which described that to make a desired picture or an art, several coloured dots should be arranged on the canvas so that it makes sense to the viewer’s eyes. Georges Seurat was successful to make clear pictures using this art. Other artists were not very successful as their works were more rigid. This resulted in few reach to the public and less appealing work of arts. The Neo-Impressionism, lasted for only a few years (from 1886 – 1891) because of the reason that after Seurat there were no other such prominent artist of the art form.

A list of famous Neo-Impressionism painters are provided below:

  • Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
  • Paul Signac (1863-1935)
  • Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
  • Albert Dubois-Pillet (1846-1890)
  • Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910)
  • Charles Angrand (1856-1926)
  • Jan Toorop (1858-1928)
  • Maximilien Luce (1858-1941)
  • Leo Gausson (1860-1944)
  • Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926)
  • Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944)
  • Louis Hayet (1864-1940)
  • Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

A list of famous works by Paul Signac (1863-1935):

  • Snow, Boulevard de Clichy
  • Saint-Tropez, the Storm 
  • View of Marseilles Port
  • Lighthouse at La Rochelle
  • Debilly Footbridge

A list of famous works by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903):

  • Young Peasant Lighting a Fire
  • Self-Portrait

A list of famous works by Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910):

  • Evening Breeze

A list of famous works by Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944):

  • April, Epping


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