George Seurat

What can Pointillism do?

What is Pointillism?

  • Considered part of the Post-impressionist
  • It was invented by painters George Seurat and Paul Signac.
  • Form of painting in which tiny dots of primary-colors are used to generate secondary colors.
  • It is an outcome of Impressionism, and is usually categorized as a form of Post-Impressionism.
  • More focused on the particular style of brushwork used to apply the paint.
  • An influence on Fauvism.
  • A style of painting in which small distinct dots of color create the impression of a wide selection of other colors and blending.

When was the Pointillism movement?

Pointillism reached its peak in the 1880s and 1890s after the Impressionist movement. Artists continued to use many concepts and ideas in the future.

What are the characteristics of Pointillism?

  • In Pointillism, the painting is made up entirely of small dots of pure color.
  • While Impressionists used small dabs of paint as part of their technique, Pointillism took this to the next level using only small dots of pure color to compose an entire painting.
  • The technique relies on the perceptive ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to mix the color spots into a fuller range of tones and is related closely to Divisionism, a more specialized form of the process.

Examples of Pointillism

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

 A famous painting by George Seurat. It is over 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide. The painting is done with tiny little dots of pure color. Seurat painted it for around two years. See it for yourself in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sunday by Paul Signac
Sunday by Paul Signac

In this painting called Sunday, you can see his technique. The colors are vivid and the lines are quite sharp when viewed from a distance. The painting is of a classic Parisian husband and wife spending Sunday afternoon together in their home.

Morning, Interior by Maximilien Luce
Morning, Interior by Maximilien Luce

Luce used Pointillism when painting scenes of people at work. This painting shows a man getting ready for work in the morning. The colors are vigorous and the early morning sunlight entering the room through the windows is seen clearly.

Interesting Facts about Pointillism

  • Seurat called the style of painting Divisionism when he invented it, but the name was changed over time.
  • The smaller the dots, the more explicit the painting and the sharper the lines, just like with the screen resolution on a computer monitor.
  • In many ways Pointillism was as much a science as an art.
  • Vincent Van Gogh experimented with the Pointillism technique. It is apparent in his 1887 self portrait.
  • The style often used dots of complementary colors to make their subjects more vibrant. Complementary colors are colors of the opposite tone, for example red and green or blue and orange.

Great painters left us with memories we can never forget. If people still exist, there will be unending paintings and artworks that would beautify the entire world.

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