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by: Jessika Song

Post-Impressionism ARHI 2400

Jessika Song

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These notes are a combination of material from the textbook and from class lectures, to give you all of the information you'll need for the exam.
History of Art Survey, Part II
Beth Fadeley
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessika Song on Monday April 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARHI 2400 at University of Georgia taught by Beth Fadeley in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see History of Art Survey, Part II in Art History at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 04/18/16
 Post-Impressionism Post-Impressionists - Built on the Impressionists’ interest in perception, but explored perception more objectively - Incorporated more abstract qualities and symbolic context - Shared no stylistic unity - Two branches of Post-Impressionism: • those who emphasized permanence of form, order, and structure • those who emphasized emotion or expressive content - Van Gogh and Gauguin focus on emotion (Van Gogh through color and Gauguin by focusing on the primitive world — associated with Orientalism) Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) - Born in the South of France, Aix en Provence, lives in Paris for a short time - Studied at a drawing school outside of the academy, continuously denied by the jury of the official Paris Salon and exhibited at the first and third Impressionist exhibit (Salon des Refusés), but never officially joins them. - Eventually becomes a major influence on artists who admire his use of color and form. - Constantly recreates the same subject/painting. Bathers - Produced when Cézanne is still living in Paris, but this painting is not a representation of something you would see in modern Paris. - En plein air method lends to loose brush strokes that create an atmospheric quality as well as movement. - This painting references classical and traditional art — still-life, pastoral landscapes, and classical subjects/figures — with modernity. - Exemplifies the idea of bringing historical aspects into the modern era. Basket of Apples - Cézanne’s interest in the study of volume and solidity is evident from the disjunctures in the painting — the table edges are discontinuous, and various objects seem to be depicted from different vantage points. This resulted in paintings that, though conceptually coherent, do not appear optically coherent. - In keeping with the modernist concern with the integrity of the painting surface, Cézanne’s methods never allow the viewer to disregard the actual two-dimensionality of the picture plane. - In this manner, Cézanne achieved a remarkable feat — presenting the viewer with two- dimensional and three-dimensional images simultaneously. Mont Sainte-Victoire - Cézanne believed that nature is permanent, but always changing. Also, that a person’s experience of a landscape takes time (doesn’t come immediately). - Separated the planes into different cubes of color - Instead of employing the Impressionists’ random approach when he was face-to-face with nature, Cézanne developed a more analytical style. His goal was to order the lines, planes, and colors comprising nature. Georges Seurat (1859-1891) - The themes Seurat addressed in his paintings were also Impressionist subjects, but he depicted them in a disciplined and painstaking system of painting focused on color analysis. - Seurat was less concerned with the recording of immediate color sensations than he was with their careful and systematic organization into a new kind of pictorial order. Pointillism: the artist separates color into its component parts and then applies the component colors to the canvas in tiny dots (points). The image becomes comprehensible only from a distance, when the viewer’s eyes optically blend the pigment dots. Michel Eugéne Chevreul - developed complimentary colors Ogden Rood - developed the theory that you can mix colors, but will often appear dull. Instead, you could achieve the same effect without mixing, but by placing certain colors next to/against each other — divisionism. A Sunday on La Grande Jatte - The subject of the painting is consistent with Impressionist recreational themes, and Seurat also shared the Impressionists’ interest in analyzing light and color. But Seurat’s rendition of Parisians at leisure is rigid and remote, unlike the spontaneous representations of Impressionism. Seurat’s pointillism instead produced a carefully composed and painted image. - Seurat insisted that this painting was purely about science, but it was also about modern Parisian life — depicting a congregation of people from various classes, class distinctions were hard to see because of their wearing Sunday clothes. - Also, Seurat returns to classical traditions, like Cézanne, by depicting a pastoral setting. - He played on repeated motifs both to create flat patterns and to suggest spatial depth. - Finally, the frame/border is a statement of what this is about for him — the modern perception of color. Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) - Gauguin and Van Gogh were two artists in the Post-Impressionist movement to begin exploring symbolism. - As Van Gogh did, Gauguin rejected objective representation in favor of subjective expression. He also broke with the Impressionists’ studies of minutely contrasted hues because he believed color, above all, must be expressive. - Was interested in the theme of primitivism, which caused him to leave the city and go to a rural town — Brittany, France, where the still-medieval Catholic piety of its people and unspoiled culture attracted Gauguin to move to Pont-Aven. - Although in the 1870s and 1880s Brittany had been transformed into a profitable market economy, Gauguin still viewed the Bretons as “natural” men and women, perfectly at ease in their unspoiled peasant environment. Breton Girls Dancing, Pont-Aven - People of this town still wore traditional clothing and this depiction is obviously a reaction to modernity — to see modernity as the loss of something important. - This painting is an expression of spiritualism as a more authentic way of living. Vision After the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel) - The painting shows Breton women wearing their starched white Sunday caps and black dresses, visualizing the sermon they have just heard in church about Jacob’s encounter with the Holy Spirit. - Because all of their eyes are closed it is obvious that the red space is what is going on in their minds — thus the perspective is twisted. - Gauguin uses color in a symbolic and abstract way — using red to symbolize the separation between reality and religious vision; also, the tree is used as a separation. - Gauguin’s depiction of the visionary world is neither Realism nor Impressionism in that it is pre-modern and the opposite of modernity (primitivism and religious). Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) - In contrast to Seurat’s analytical methodical use of color, van Gogh explored the capabilities of colors and distorted forms to express his emotions as he confronted nature. - Began painting at a very late age and never considered himself a successful artist. - Born in the Netherlands, tried to become a minister while searching for a meaningful way of life. Later admitted himself to Saint-Paul-De-Mausolea asylum in Saint-Rémy. - Moved to the south of France, Arles, and tried to start his own artist colony/group, even invited Gauguin, but wen mad soon enough. (Was never successful in his lifetime) Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear - This painting was a message to his doctor that he was getting well and following the instructions of the doctor — wearing an overcoat and hat to show that he was getting fresh air as recommended, standing in front of an easel to show that he was painting to get better. - Japanese painting in the background reveals his love for Japanese prints Starry Night - Probably the most famous painting in the world - Van Gogh wanted to reflect the beauty of the world around him, as well as express himself — “expressionist” method. - Painted while still admitted in the asylum; not a literal representation of the sky’s appearance, but rather a communication of his feelings about the universe, possibly religion, and his depression. - He transforms a typical landscape into a poetic expression of his own experience — examples of symbolism and expressionism.


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