The Pendulum Swings

Art, like many other aspects of human civilization, moves in cycles. Just like Impressionism replaced Realism, post-Impressionism would replace Impressionism. The movement is called “post” Impressionism because many of the features of Impressionism were still present in the new style. Impressionist artists, like Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin, loved the broad, bright Impressionism palate but deplored the spontaneous chaos of felling used by Impressionism. By adding formal structure to the bright colors Georges Seurat was able to create “divisionism” and Van Gogh was able to develop his unique brush strokes, that gave his work such an illusory quality. The new techniques have art a new abstract look,in some cases even ghostly, but always slightly out of focus. These new techniques were amount the most influential when the Modernist movement began do develop during the first half of the 20th Century.

The first Post-Impressionistic are turned up in France in 1886 but had moved to Britain within a few years. The term was actually given to this group of artists by British are criticRoger Fry. Many art historians argue about whether post-Impressionism strengthened or weakened impressionism but the fact is that art styles change and grow. Post-Impressionism opened a doorway to the styles we now enjoy and without its move to more abstract visions , using unnatural colors and distorted images, the art world would be in a far different place today. When Fray named the movement he made his reasons very clear and had no intention of saying the Impressionism was being replaced. He rendered the name as a means of identifying a part of the Impressionist movement, a time marker if you will. Some art historians actually maintain that post-Impressionism is actually part of the Modernist style and others refer to the movement as Symbolism. Symbolism really applied to the French version and came into wide spread use in the literature of the period long before the art world grasped the concept.

One of the interesting historical notes about post-Impressionism s that it officially starts just after the death of Manet, which was shortly after the very beginning of Impressionism. This leads us to the inevitable conclusion that post-Impressionism really was only the growth of Impressionism. Artists like Vincent Van Gogh merely changed some essential lines and used different colors to bring out a different side to an image, blending Expression and Impressionism to create the grand child of both.