Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods


One of the forefathers of Expressionism, Paul Gauguin, advocated for a style of painting he called Synthetism. Gauguin believed in the use of emotive line and color to depict scenes that were not exactly abstract, but also not drawn directly from nature. He believed that a combination, or synthesis, of impression and the visual elements of line and color would produce a more successful painting. Patterns and large forms in expressive color typify the work of Paul Gauguin, his colleague Émile Bernard, and other pioneers of the Synthetist style. Gauguin felt that the Impressionists' preoccupation with the effects of natural light was superficial, and sought to imbue his works with his own feeling about the subject and consideration for the aesthetic properties of his composition. The short-lived style was at its height from 1888 to 1894, but was reborn in Art Nouveau, the massive style that enjoyed popularity in Europe and America.

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