Neo-Impressionism is a term coined by French art critic Félix Fénéon in 1886 to describe an art movement founded by Georges Seurat
. Seurat’s greatest masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, marked the beginning of this movement when it first made its appearance at an exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants (Salon des Indépendants) in Paris. Around this time, the peak of France’s modern era emerged and many painters were in search of new methods. Followers of Neo-impressionism, in particular, were drawn to modern urban scenes as well as landscapes and seashores. Science-based interpretation of lines and colors influenced Neo-Impressionists' characterization of their own contemporary art. The Pointillist and Divisionist techniques are often mentioned in this context, because it was the dominant technique in the beginning of the Neo-impressionist movement.
Some argue that Neo-Impressionism became the first true avant-garde movement in painting. The Neo-Impressionists were able to create a movement very quickly in the 19th century, partially due to its strong connection to anarchism, which set a pace for later artistic manifestations. The movement and the style were an attempt to drive "harmonious" vision from modern science, anarchist theory, and late 19th-century debate around the value of academic art. The artists of the movement "promised to employ optical and psycho-biological theories in pursuit of a grand synthesis of the ideal and the real, the fugitive and the essential, science and temperament. -from Wikipedia.com
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The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, 1886–1904
by Jane Block, Ellen Wardwell Lee Hardcover: 237 pages; Yale University Press (Mar 25, 2014)
Neo-Impressionism, the style pioneered by Georges Seurat (1859–1891), has long been associated with exquisite landscapes and intriguing scenes of urban leisure. Yet the movement’s use of dotted brushwork and color theory also produced arresting portraits of unusual beauty and perception. The Neo-Impressionist Portrait is the first book to examine the astonishing portraits produced by the most important figures of Neo-Impressionism, including Seurat himself, Henri-Edmond Cross, Georges Lemmen, Maximilien Luce, Paul Signac, Henry van de Velde, Vincent van Gogh, and Théo van Rysselberghe.
Paul Signac, 1863-1935
by Paul Signac, Marina Bocquillon-Ferretti, Grand Palais Paris, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam, Metropolitan Museum of Art – Hardcover: 336 pages; Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1st edition (Sep 1, 2001)
This book, the catalogue of the first retrospective of the work of the French Neo-impressionist artist Paul Signac to be held in nearly forty years, accompanies the 2001 exhibition organized by the Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Musee d'Orsay, Paris, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
by Victoria Charles Hardcover: 256 pages; Parkstone Press (Oct 20, 2013)
Inspired by Monet’s work at a young age, Paul Signac (1863-1935) was a friend and disciple of Georges Seurat who combined the scientific precision of pointillism with the vivid colors and emotional expressivity of Impressionism. A close personal friend of Vincent van Gogh, who was a great admirer of his techniques, Signac traveled the world in search of inspiration for his monumental canvases. This book examines the intricacies of Signac’s celebrated technique, as well as showcasing the details of some of his most celebrated works.
Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities: Painting, Poetry, Music
by Cornelia Homburg, Paul Smith, Laura Corey, Simon Kelly, Noelle C. Paulson, Christopher Riopelle Hardcover: 191 pages; Yale University Press (Nov 11, 2014)
This stunning catalogue explores the creative exchange between Neo-Impressionist painters and Symbolist writers and composers in the late 1880s and early 1890s. Symbolism, with its emphasis on subjectivity, dream worlds, and spirituality, has often been considered at odds with Neo-Impressionism’s approach to portraying color and light. This book repositions the relationship between these movements.
Masters of Art: Seurat
by Pierre Courthion Hardcover: 128 pages; Harry N. Abrams (Sep 15, 1988) Reader review:
The book contains most of Seurat's paintings beautifully reproduced. The author uses many crayon and pencil sketches as well as color studies to illustrate the process by which Seurat came to paint two of his most famous masterpieces: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
and Bathing at Asnieres
. Of particular interest is the explanation of Seurat's quasi-scientific theories of color based on gradation (the movement from light to dark), hue (red and its complementary colors) and line (the movement of directions on the horizontal. Seurat believed that the relations of the three produced, according to fixed laws, certain emotions such as sadness and happiness, as well as more subjective sensations such as warm and cold
Maximilien Luce: Neo-Impressionist
by Vanessa Lecomte, Aline Dardel, Marina Ferretti Bocquillon Hardcover: 144 pages; Silvana Editoriale; 1st edition (Mar 31, 2011)
The first retrospective monograph on Maximilien Luce (1858-1941) in nearly two decades, this publication surveys the accomplishments of this significant French Neo-Impressionist painter. Working first as a printmaker, Luce devoted himself to painting around 1880.