The postimpressionism is an artistic movement covering a broad range of styles related art, all different but share the common motivation to respond to the optical Impressionist movement . The stylistic variations gathered under the general banner of Post-Impressionism range from the scientifically oriented Neo-Impressionism of Georges Seurat to the exuberant symbolism of Paul Gauguin , but all these variations always focused on the subjective vision of the artist.


What is post-impressionism?

It is an artistic movement that was born in France and that is shown in opposition to Impressionism , although it takes some elements of it, it rejects, at the same time, a series of limitations that it supposes. It is the basis of the most modern and contemporary styles


The movement ushered in an era in which painting transcended its traditional role as a window to the world and instead became a window into the mind and soul of the artist. The far-reaching aesthetic impact of the Post-Impressionists influenced groups that emerged in the early 20th century, such as the Expressionists , as well as more contemporary movements , such as identity-related feminist art.


Characteristics of Post-Impressionism

This artistic movement is mainly characterized by the type of brush strokes which are short and precise , which produces a reflection of the rapid changes that occurred during the time. It uses pure colors that evoke the radicality that exists within society.

Lovers of post-impressionism do not see nature subjectively, but rather see it as a whole . His images full of movement and texture manage to show the cultural dynamism that is accelerated thanks to the new means of transport and the importation of exotic objects, especially from the East.

It is also characterized by the liberation of classical forms , colors and textures are managed to transform together with the social change of the late 1800s.


The origin of Post-Impressionism as an artistic movement can be found in France , around the year 1884 with the founding by Seurat and Signac of the Society of Independent Artists . The word Post-Impressionism was coined by Roger Fry , a British critic in 1910, at an exhibition organized in London under the title “Manet and the Post-Impressionists.”


In 1872, Claude Monet changed the path of painting, creating a revolutionary form of visual expression in which artists responded to their modern surroundings . This was achieved in the painting ” Dawn “, in which Monet used every visible brushstroke to record exactly how the sunlight fell on the steamboats and the water.

The critic Louis Leroy mockingly called his painting style ” Impressionist ” because of the visible brushstrokes , and inadvertently gave the group its collective identity. Although the main membership consisted of Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas, there were also many other artists associated with the group. Among them was Paul Cézanne, who exhibited with the Impressionists during the 1870s and early 1880s.

Post-impressionism in art

Within the movement, art was considered a specific activity that reproduced reality and not illusion . Considerable importance was given to drawing and the expressiveness of both objects and human figures.

Post-impressionism in architecture

Symmetry was sought and the use of geometry and the designs were no longer so asymmetrical . The idea of ​​making simple compositions that were full of harmony was also pursued . It was often built in the Gothic and Baroque style , which was considered the most suitable. Curved lines and spirals were polycentric figures full of motifs and messages.

Post-impressionism in sculpture

It sought to give birth to the most complete and shaped works of art and images , and it was the basis of many movements that emerged later.


We can say that Post-Impressionism was born as the evolution and rupture of Impressionism . This movement has been important in the History of Art because its innovative proposals were responsible for creating a pictorial renewal and managed to open the way to artistic movements known as the first avant-gardes. The fauvism , the cubism or expressionism could not be understood without the influence of Post – Impressionism.


  • Paul Gauguin : stands out for the expressive use of color with strong , vivid and often arbitrary tones that he arranges in large planes delimited by curved linear rhythms . It focuses on two main themes: the exotic world of Tahiti and the ” primitivism ” of Britain. His work is full of symbolism and his sense of color will influence the Fauvists and Expressionists.
  • Paul Cézanne : gives volume with geometry , drawing and the definition of forms with constructive brushstrokes ; using high intensity colors with contrasts and colored shadows . Enhances the foreground and distorts with more than one point of view. Cubism began with his painting .
  • Van Gogh : passionate about color to express depressions and anguish that he suffered. His brushstroke is sinuous , cursive and thick ; colors can be aggressive with contrasts. He was in charge of opening the doors to the expressionism of the XX.
  • Toulouse-Lautrec : in his technique, the drawing, the capture of movement and the ironic and caricatural charge is the most important. He was the promoter of the cartel.


Among the most important works of Post-Impressionism we can mention:

  • Seurat – Sunday Afternoon on the Grande Jatte
  • Van Gogh – Wheat Field with Crows
  • Lautrec – La Goulue
  • Paul Gauguin – Tahitian Women
  • Paul Cézanne – The Card Players
  • Rodin – The Thinker
  • The burghers of Calais
  • The monument to Balzac

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