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A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
ArtistGeorges Seurat
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions207.6 cm × 308 cm (81.7 in × 121.3 in)
LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago

Neo-impressionism is a term coined by a French art critic 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 appeared at an exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris.[1]

Around this time, many painters were in search of new methods. Followers of neo-impressionism were drawn to modern urban scenes as well as landscapes and seashores. Science-based interpretation of lines and colours influenced neo-impressionists’ characterization of their own contemporary art.[2] Pointillism is often mentioned, because it was the dominant technique in the beginning of the movement.

The art critic Félix Fénéon first used the term neo-impressionism in an article he wrote for the Belgian journal L’art Moderne in 1886. With the term he wanted to show that the way Seurat painted was different from the ways painting was done in Impressionism. In total, the movement lasted about five years.

References[change | change source]

  1. Hutton, John G. 2004 . Neo-impressionism and the search for solid ground: art, science, and anarchism in fin-de-siècle France. (1994). Neo-impressionism and the Search for Solid Ground: Art, Science, and Anarchism in Fin-de-siècle France. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0-8071-1823-0.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. Lee, Ellen W. & Smith, Tracy E. 1983. The aura of Neo-impressionism: the W.J. Holliday Collection. Edelstein, Debra ed. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-936260-04-1