art of the later nineteenth century. europe in the late nineteenth century artists painting during...
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Art of the Later Nineteenth Century
Europe in the Late Nineteenth Century Artists painting during the 1880s and 1890s wanted to continue painting the contemporary world but hoped to overcome some of the problems they saw in the Impressionist style. They felt art should present a more personal, expressive view of life rather than focusing on the changing effects of light on objects.
Post-Impressionism The most important artists who searched for solutions to the problems of Impressionism was Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin. Each of these artists wanted to discover what was wrong or missing in Impressionism.Their search for an answer led them in different directions and had an important effect on the course of art history. These painters belonged to a group of artists who are now called Post-Impressionists.
Post-Impressionism The French art movement that immediately followed Impressionism. The artists who were a part of this movement showed a greater concern for structure and form than did the Impressionist artists.
Paul Cezanne His studies of great artists in the Louvre led him to believe that Impressionist paintings lacked form, solidity, and structure. He spent the rest of his life trying to restore those qualities to his paintings. His style was not realistic. He was not concerned with reproducing exactly the shapes, colors, lines, and textures in nature. He felt free to discard anything he considered unnecessary. He carefully arranged the objects in his works rather than painting them as he found them.
Cezannes Technique Cezannes effort to change this representational style began with experiments in still-life painting, followed by pictures with figures and landscapes. He often painted the same object over and over again until he was completely satisfied. In time, his patience paid off; he arrived at a technique in which he applied his colors in small, flat patches.
Cezannes Technique These patches of color were placed side by side so that each one represented a separate plane, or surface. When he painted a round object such as an apple, these planes were joined together to follow the curved form of the object.With this technique he was able to create the solid-looking forms that he felt were missing in Impressionist pictures.
Cezannes still-lifes Cezanne developed his painting technique with still-life pictures. Still-life paintings gave him a chance to study and paint objects over long periods of time. Up close, everything in Cezannes still-life seems flat, because your eye is too near to see the relationships between the colored planes. When viewed from a distance, these relationships become clear, and the forms take on a solid, three-dimensional appearance.
still-life with Peppermint BottleArtist: Paul Cezanne
Cezannes Landscapes There is a solid, massive quality found in Cezannes landscapes. Notice his style in the painting entitled Pines and Rocks.
Pines and RocksArtist: Paul Cezanne Notice the rock in the foreground looks heavy and solid. Small brush strokes have been used to suggest the form of this rock, giving it the weight and volume of a mountain. The foliage of the trees is painted as a heavy mass of green.Like everything else in the work, the foliage is created with cubes of color. Some cubes tilt away from you, whereas other turn in a variety of other directions. They lead your eye in, out, and around the solid forms that make up the picture. This work has the appearance of a three-dimensional mosaic.
Vincent van Gogh As a young man, this Dutch artist worked as a lay missionary in a poor Belgian coalmining village, but realized he was a failure at this vocation. He turned to his Art. He drew and painted at every opportunity. His early pictures, painted in browns and other drab colors, showed peasants going about their daily routines.When he was 33, he moved to Paris.During his stay in Paris, van Gogh met Degas and the Impressionists. Their influence on him was immediate and dramatic and his pictures began to blaze with color.
Self-Portrait Artist: Vincent van Gogh
Self-Portrait Artist: Vincent van Gogh The influence of Impressionists is seen clearly in a self-portrait van Gogh completed a year after his arrival in Paris. Observe how dots and dashes of paint in the background create a whirling dark pool against which the flame-bright head stand out with a powerful force. Notice that he turns his head slightly to avoid eye contact. Perhaps this is a defensive move.Although he found the Impressionist style fascinating, he was beginning to wonder whether it allowed him enough freedom to express his inner feelings.
Bedroom at Arles Artist: Vincent van Gogh
Bedroom at Arles Artist: Vincent van Gogh In Arles, van Gogh hoped to find the brilliant colors he saw in Japanese woodblock prints. These prints, like Impressionism, had a deep impact on his painting style.He began to use large, flat areas of color, and he titled his compositions to create a strange new kind of perspective. At first, you might see just a picture of a sparsely furnished room van Gogh rented in Arles. Look more closely and you will discover that the artist uses the work to express his emotions as well. Why is there two of everything? It may testify to van Goghs loneliness and his desire for companionship.
A Troubled LifeVan Gogh eventually realized that the Impressionists painting technique did not suit his restless and excitable personality. He developed his own style, marked by bright colors, twisting lines, bold brushstrokes, and a thick application of paint. He began to paint fields bathed in sunlight, and trees and flowers that twisted and turned as if they were alive. Van Goghs personality was unstable, and he suffered from epileptic seizures during the last two years of his life. This caused him to slip into a major depression.Finally, on a July evening in 1890; he shot himself.
Paul Gauguin Gauguin passed through an Impressionistic period before moving in another direction. He was a successful businessman who began painting as a hobby. At the age of 35, he left his well-paying job and turned to painting as a career.His paintings did not sell, and his family was reduced to poverty.Throughout his career, Gauguin moved from one location to another, searching for an earthly paradise with exotic settings that he could paint.
Spirit of the Dead Watching Artist: Paul Gauguin
Spirit of the Dead Watching Artist: Paul Gauguin In Tahiti, Gauguin painted this haunting picture. In a letter to his wife, the artist explained that he had painted a young girl laying on a bed, frightened by the spirit of a dead woman appearing behind her. Gauguins pictures started with the exotic the subject matter he searched for in his travels. As he painted, however, he allowed his imagination to take over. I shut my eyes in order to see, he said.
Fatata te MitiArtist: Paul Gauguin
Fatata te MitiArtist: Paul Gauguin This title means by the sea in Maori language. Beyond a huge twisted tree root, two young women wade out into the blue-green sea for a swim. A fisherman with spear in hand stalks his quarry. Flat areas of bright colors give the picture the look of a medieval stained-glass window.Except for the figures, the forms are flattened into planes of color that overlap to lead into the work. Gauguin is not interested in creating the illusion of real space here. He is more concerned with combining flat, colorful shapes and curving contour lines to produce a rich, decorative pattern.
Influence of the Post-Impressionists Cezanne, van Gogh, and Gauguin saw the world in different ways and developed their own methods to show others what they saw.Cezanne sought weight and solidity in his carefully composed paintings. Van Gogh used vibrating colors, distortion, and vigorous brushstrokes to show a world throbbing with movement and energy.Gauguin took the shapes, colors, and lines he found in nature and changed them into flat, simplified shapes, broad areas of bright colors, and graceful lines.
Influence of the Post-Impressionists Each of these three artists experienced loneliness, frustration, and even ridicule, but their work had a tremendous influence on the artists of the twentieth century.