1.5.3.1 Pointillism (1879-1890s)

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Sunday Afternoon La Grande Jatte, Seurat
Circus Sideshow, Seurat
Ad Parnassum, Klee

Pointillism, a style of painting developed in France at the end of the 19th century in which a painting is created out of small spots of pure colour that seem to mix when seen from far away.

Beside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, who conceived Pointillism as an art technique and conducted the group of artists who adopted that painting style, later on, many other artists were influenced by Seurat and Signac, claiming to be Pointillists themselves.

Mostly, those were French, Italian and Belgian artists, as they were the ones who contributed the most to the development of Expressionism in Europe. Alongside them, some Dutch artists contributed to the acknowledgment of the technique. Vincent van Gogh was one of them, as he occasionally painted using what was known as the Pointillism technique.

[1531-10]


Image source: Wikimedia commons
Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte, is considered Georges Seurat’s greatest work, and one of the most remarkable paintings of the nineteenth century.

Seurat laboured extensively over A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, reworking the original as well as completing numerous preliminary drawings and oil sketches (the Art Institute has one such sketch and two drawings). With what resembles scientific precision, the artist tackled the issues of colour, light, and form. Inspired by research in optical and color theory, he juxtaposed tiny dabs of colors that, through optical blending, form a single and, he believed, more brilliantly luminous hue.

To make the experience of the painting even more intense, he surrounded the canvas with a frame of painted dashes and dots, which he, in turn, enclosed with a pure white wood frame, similar to the one with which the painting is exhibited today.

The very immobility of the figures and the shadows they cast makes them forever silent and enigmatic. Like all great masterpieces, La Grande Jatte continues to fascinate and elude.
[Source: artic.edu]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, A1884-6Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Seurat, Georges1859-1891, aged 31French painter ParisPointillism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1531-11]

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago USA208 x 308  
At the Salon des Indépendants in 1888 Seurat demonstrated the versatility of his technique by exhibiting Circus Sideshow, a nighttime outdoor scene in artificial light, and Models, an indoor, daylight scene (Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia).

This is Seurat’s first nocturnal painting and the first to depict popular entertainment. It represents the parade, or sideshow, of the Circus Corvi at the annual Gingerbread Fair, held in eastern Paris around the place de la Nation, in spring 1887.

Sideshows were staged outside the circus tent, for free, to entice passersby to purchase tickets. The onlookers at the far right are queued on stairs leading to the box office.
[Source: metmuseum.org]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Circus Sideshow, La Parade du Cirque1888Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Seurat, Georges1859-1891, aged 31French painter ParisPointillism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1531-12]

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY USA100 x 150  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Ad Parnassum is one of Paul Klee’s best known works of art, and in the eyes of many critics is his best demonstration of the pointillist style he developed in the later stages of his career.

It is one of Paul Klee’s largest paintings, and is considered a masterpiece by many due to its incredibly complex nature and design, featuring tiny individually stamped dots in patterns which microscopically form semi recognisable shapes and objects.
[Source: paul-klee.org]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Ad Parnassum1932Oil/CanvasAbstract
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Klee, Paul1879 – 1940, aged 60Swiss-German artistPointillist
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):  
Kunstmuseum Bern, Hodlerstrasse 8, 3011 Bern, Switzerland100 x 126  

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