Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods

Divisionism

Divisionism is the technique of applying unmixed pigment to the canvas in small dots. Also known as Pointillism, Divisionism was a prominent style among the Neo-Impressionists. The method was born from the theory that the viewer’s eye would merge the tones into a more luminous and brilliant composition. The Impressionists were the first to dabble in this method, which was appropriate for the period’s interest in the new science of color theory. Georges Seurat, however, was the first artist to adapt his paintings entirely to Divisionism, both practicing and developing the technique. Seurat is considered a Post-Impressionist, the vague term for the artists working after the initial fame of the Impressionists, but before the abstraction of Fauvism and Cubism took root. Another artist to experiment with Divisionism was Vincent van Gogh, whose restless and impersonal flicks of paint reflect similar attitudes to Seurat’s towards the importance of color.


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