Archive for the ‘Post Impressionism’ Category

Vincent Van Gogh – Most Important Post-Impressionist

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

van-Gogh-self-portrait

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) is one of the most relevant and probably the most famous artist of Post Impressionism Era. He was an artist of great influence in areas such as expressionism, fauvism and abstract art. He was raised in a cultured Holland home that was very religious as his father was a Pastor.

Van Gogh discovered Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism in Paris where he met Paul Gauguin and other Impressionists. In his paintings he reflected his internal state of mind, as his famous Starry Night painting shows.  This painting was also the prelude of Expressionism, another formidable art form. With his close association with Gauguin, Van Gogh was able to persuade him to join him in Arles, France. Both founded an art school but were unsuccessful in the ventures.

Van Gogh suffered from mental fits of madness. During one of his mental bouts, he cut a part of his left ear with a razor while pursuing Gauguin. Ironically, this was the time where he was able to produce most of his famous art pieces with his recognizable style, using bright colors. He produced 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings; these were in the last ten years of his life. He stayed in a mental asylum at Saint-Remy where he later committed suicide.

During his lifetime, he only sold one painting.


Paul Cézanne

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Paul Cézanne was considered the father of modern art. His work laid the foundations for the transition of art from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. During his life, Cezanne was a painter who was ignored by the public art world. He had few friends and, until 1895, presented his paintings only occasionally. He was appreciated only by a few impressionists and at the end of his life; he was also recognized by the new generations.

He was born in France part of a great influential family. He received a large inheritance, which kept him from having financial troubles while he pursued his chosen career in painting.

He left for Paris from Aix where he met other Impressionists. At the beginning of his career, he was interested on landscape paintings, which were painted large and heavy in very imaginative ways. However, his interest in working from direct observation evolved into a painting style with great impact on the influence to the Impressionists of his time because of the simplification of geometry and optical phenomenal effect of his arts to the viewers. His work bridged the Impressionism arts of the 19th century and the 20th century’s.

His works showed a great sense of mastery. The brushstrokes were highly recognizable; use of small strokes of the brush and color planes were created forming complex fields on the eye and the observed art in his paintings. Cézanne exerted study on geometry in his artworks.

Cézanne expressed an interest in the representation of contemporary life, painting the world as close as

possible to what he actually viewed in it, without worrying about idealizations, thematic or an involvement in style. He fought to develop an observation of the real world seen through the most accurate method of representing himself in his paintings.

Still Life paintings, watercolors and numerous self-portraits were among his many other works. Paul Cézanne died of pneumonia and his remains were buried in Aix-en-Provence in France. He lived from 1839 to 1906.


Inspired by Imagination and Dreams – Rousseau

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Henry Rousseau did not start out life with the intention of being a painter. In fact, his only ambition was to get his family out of debt and on the path of prosperity. He was born in the 1800’s to a plumber. In his early life he worked as a lawyers assistant and then found a job with the government where he remained for many years. It wasn’t until he was in his forties that he took up painting and at 49 he retired from his job to take up painting full time.

He had no formal art schooling but did get some consultation from Felix Auguste Clement and Jean Leon Gerome. Most of his paintings are inspired by fantasy and dreams. His research is done from taxidermified wild animals, illustrated books, and botanical gardens. He once told a famous art critic that he seemed to dream when he went to the botanical gardens and felt like he was in far off lands.

At the time many of his contemporaries thought he painted child like paintings and that he was highly unprofessional. Today he is thought to be one of the influences on Fauvism.


Toulouse-Lautrec

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

A known French painter born in 1864, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa was the firstborn in an aristocratic family in France. He suffered different illnesses which affected him greatly physically. His legs retained its child-like size but his torso developed to an adult-size. His inability to participate in many activities that others enjoyed led Toulouse-Lautrec to be involved in art. He was an important Impressionist painter, lithographer and art nouveau illustrator.

He was unable to maintain a stable relationship with women, due to his many insecurities. These insecurities and frustrations made Toulousse Lautrec develop in painting a way of escaping from reality, in a similar way as did Gauguin or Van Gogh.

Lautrec would become the painter of modernity, abandoning conventional style to form part of Post Impressionism. Night Scenes and cartoon-like portraits of the people of the night became his favourite painting motifs. He was drawn to the Bohemian lifestyle in Paris in the area of Montmartre. He painted a series of posters for Moulin Rouge and other nightclubs where he was held in a very special seat in the cabaret. He stayed in brothels for weeks where he painted the prostitutes as his models in their natural environment.

In less than 20 years of career, Toulouse-Lautrec made 363 prints and posters, 275 watercolors and 737 canvases. Included in his works were 5,084 drawings, ceramics, glassworks and many lost works. He was known along with Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin for Impressionist arts. He was known for the excellent way he captured people in their environment, in which they were given individuality in his artworks. They were dispassionate and sympathetic in nature at the same time, as described. His style gave emphasis on contour and linear. Long thin brushstrokes were applied in his paintings.

Toulouse-Lautrec was not admitted in the Salon of Paris since his Works of art were considered unacceptable. This made him look for alternative ways of showing his art to the public, so the main public could get to know his Works of art. He even used newspapers. His Works were exposed either in solitary, or with the groups, or with his friends, such as Van Gogh.

His lifestyle led him to alcoholism and to his admission in a sanatorium. Complications of both alcoholism and syphilis were the cause of his death at Malformé, the family estate. He died before he reached his 37th birthday and he was buried in Verdelais, Gironde, near his birthplace in France.


Neoimpressionism – Pointillism – George Seurat

Friday, May 16th, 2008

George Seurat - La ParadeIn Impressionism, aesthetics was the most important part. Other matters such as the painting technique, the subject, the author or the spectator were secondary. Pointillism pretended to recuperate the scientific study of colors and the combination of the primary colors. Pointillist artists painted whole canvasses with many small dots of primary colors, one next to the other. The result is a little strange, since images became quite geometric, far from the spontaneity which was seeked by impressionists. If seen from far away, the different dots, painted in primary colors combined giving the feeling to the eye as if a vast palette of colours had been used.

Pointillism was created and developed by George Seurat. Paul Signac was another well known painter who painted in this style.

Seurat studied optical science and theory on aesthetic to develop his artworks with the same method. He brought his masterpiece, “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”. This art showed his accomplishment as what they called him Divisionist. The trend of the tiny color dots blended from afar created the subject in the vision of the viewers.

Neoimpressionism or Pointillism was short lived but it has made an important impact on painters and evolution of arts.


Synthetism – Paul Gaugin

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Tahitian Women on the Beach - Paul GauguinSynthetism was a style of art within post-impressionism that Paul Gaugin favored in 1890. It was his belief that visuals from the memory reproduced in painting are called art. A style of painting wherein artworks produced from remembered pictures was integrated, simplified, and made. Cloisonnism was also a used style; colored flat areas outlined with black lines are its main qualities of producing the art.

Synthetism implied a radical change from Impressionism. In Synthetism planear surfaces became important. Also the contour of the figures (silhouette) was important and they were often emphasized in the paintings

In Synthesism, what became important to paint is the idea that the painter has after a given experience. The artist’s memory takes away the superfluous part and retains only the essence. This way, it is achieved the synthesis of shape and colour. The important thing is how the image is remembered, not so much how it really looks like.

Gauguin is a great example of Synthesism. He represents primitivism and bohemian style. He is the perfect example of an artist who sought the necessity to unify art and life. Gauguin abandoned western civilization (he was a stock agent) in search of the primitive art and civilization. He went to live to Tahiti. He valued this art not so much for being different, but especially for its authenticity. He was in a constant search of himself. He found himself and peace in Tahiti.


Naive Art

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Radi Nedelchev - Naive ArtArtists rejected for lacking professional training by the sophisticated societies referred to their artworks as the Naive or Outsider. The artists under this style of art shared the same passion and intense as other trained artists, the only difference was that they worked for their art without the formal learning and trainings. The artwork produced by these artists was highly detailed in images, used bright and strong colors and were without perspective. Usually the images looked like they were floating in space creating illusions of fantasy. The Naive Art was not concerned with social structures, traditions and correctness of politics in their expressions in their work.

This kind of art had proven to be most important for its ability to endure the changing styles of art around it for many decades. It maintained its identity after all the years it had been around. All the artists of Naive Art worldwide followed the oversimplification of the artworks; it was childlike possessing the identity of the style.

The characteristics found in the Naive Art were very unfitting as compared to the formal painting qualities. It showed difficulties with drawing and perspective; however, it resulted to something awkwardly charming for the strong pattern of unrefined colors. It was refreshing for the viewers because of its lack of subtlety. It became a recognized and popular style with all its qualities. Pseudo-naive and faux-naïve were other names coined for this style.


Rousseau – Naive Art

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Henry Rousseau - Self Portrait Naive ArtHenri Rousseau was born as part of a modest family and he made his living in customs. He was not a professional painter, in that he did not live from his paintings, but he considered himself a painter above all else.

He painted differently from the more educated contemporary artists. He did not have any artistic education, he was self taught. His painting differed from the more elaborated paintings of the times in that they were rougher and also in the themes it depicted. He liked to use photos and illustrated books for his paintings.

The traits of his paintings were the traits of innocence:

Innocence is what justifies naïf paintings. A Naïf painting is a type of painting that shows an unaffected simplicity with none of the guile of worldly experience. The painting shows many of society’s shortcomings and clumsiness, but they are by no means inferior to other types of paintings. The main characteristics of naïf paintings are as follows:

Contours were defined very precisely.

  • There was a lack of perspective.
  • Extraordinary use of color.
  • Spectrum very refined.
  • Painting very detailed and meticulous.
  • The sensation of volume is achieved through color.
  • The drawing may be wrong.
  • The signatures are often large.
  • Great expressive power.

Source: Spanisharts


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