Post Impressionism Art History Presentation ~ 220 Slides
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This is a very complete, highly visual and thoroughly annotated presentation on Post Impressionist art history.
I have included 16 actual slides in the preview for you to download. Plus there are four thumbnail slides. This gives you the best idea of the quality of this product.
"Excerpt 1: Overview Post-Impressionism"
Post Impressionism was mainly a French art movement between 1886 and 1905, with the typical overlap years for those among them who were not eager to go all the way into the modern art of cubism. These painters were reacting against Impressionism because they did not like the Impressionists’ intense focus on the natural depiction of light and color over any other factors. They were interested in abstractions and symbols instead
Some of the Post-Impressionists carried on after 1905 simply because they weren’t interested in becoming Cubists. But the Cubists weren’t reacting against the Post Impressionists anyway. They were using them as building blocks, particularly Cézanne and Van Gogh. And Cézanne and Van Gogh were already dead by 1906.
Some of the Post Impressionists were not an organized bunch of painters. Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh, for example, during the period worked mostly alone and away from the others. These painters were much more capable of meeting the expression “off doing their own thing,” then the Impressionists were.
The Post Impressionists acted as a bridge, by virtue of what they were painting, between the Impressionists and Modern Art, which kicked off with the Cubists. The major exhibits these later artists saw of the Post Impressionists’ work was after their deaths.
Roger Fry, critic and artist, in 1910 originated the term Post-Impressionism to describe French art since Manet. Specifically, he used that exact phrase when he organized the 1910 exhibition, “Manet and the Post-Impressionists.”
Post-Impressionists didn’t want to get rid of the gains Impressionism had made in moving towards modern art. But they did want to get rid of its self imposed limitations. So they continued using bright colors, impasto paint, and real-life subjects BUT also began using geometric and distorted forms along with unnatural or arbitrary colors.
The average museum goer would probably tend to just lump the Impressionists with the Post-Impressionists but go “Whoa!” when viewing the Cubists after them. One has to look carefully to see what the Cubists were borrowing from the Post-Impressionists to see the Post-Impressionists as the bridge.
Not unexpectedly, since some of them were working alone and there was no manifesto, several of the key painters each went in his own direction to react against Impressionism.
Seurat and Signac wholly concerned themselves with “Pointillism” to react against Impressionism. This meant they used small dots of color in painting the work, which the eye tended to see as a whole when one stood back from the painting.
Cézanne wanted to restore order and so he used the forms that order the universe: geometry. In his last era of painting, his work is filled with geometry, which the Cubists would seize upon as if it were the Holy Grail around the time he died.
van Gogh, a mental patient who spent his last years in an asylum, was wholly concerned with his feelings and his state of mind, which were volcanic. His vivid use of color in swirling brush strokes took both him and us to another plane of visual experience.
EXCERPT 2: (end of presentation)
I have a way of thinking about the Post Impressionists which keeps them perfectly straight in my mind. I think of them as a group of artists who saw the Impressionists break the rules and invent a new way of doing art. They loved seeing that.
Now it was their turn to do the same. Of course, Impressionism was old hat by then so they had to come up with something else. The obvious way forward was to break the rules that the Impressionists hadn’t bothered to break.
The Impressionists had utilized such a narrow definition of Impressionism that they could only break a limited number of rules. The Post Impressionists were not going to make the same mistake. If they were going to break rules, they were not going to be hemmed in by a narrow definition of what their style was. So the leading artists who came after the Impressionists, got busy breaking as many of the remaining art rules as they could during their life spans.
There were so many rules to break that it spun artists off in different directions with even newer groups, at least for awhile.
You want to break color rules? Go with the Fauvists.
You want to break shapes down geometrically? Follow Cézanne.
You want to see what happens by putting colors next to one another, rather than mixing them (Pointillism), then Seurat is the artist for you.
And so on.
So I think of the Post Impressionists as these incredibly talented artists who had seen those before them not do what the teachers told them to do (as in “color inside the lines”). Now that they knew they could get away with “coloring outside the lines,” they wanted to see how far they could go before they were stopped.
As we now know, they only stopped when they died. What they left behind for the new group of rule breaking artists would be called Modern Art.