Since the end of XIX – early XX centuries. a variety of new trends in French painting united under the name of post-impressionism, which deliberately opposed some of the principles of impressionism.
Post-impressionism increased interest in the philosophical and symbolic principles of art. The artists of this direction did not adhere only to visual impressions, but sought to convey the materiality of the world freely and in a general way, they resorted to decorative stylization (P. Cezanne, Van Gogh, P. Gauguin). The work of A. Toulouse-Lautrec, which depicted the life of actors, circus performers, singers, dancers, cafés and bargainers, was related to post-impressionism. Paintings J. Seurat, P. Signac, some canvases by K. Pissarro, written in separate strokes – pointillism is also referred to as post-impressionism.
Stages of post-impressionism. Artists
The beginning of the wide recognition of impressionism, which came in the 90s, coincided with the beginning of its disintegration as a holistic current and the birth of others within it that wanted to move on or turn the other way. The first belonged to the neo-Impressionists, who considered their leader Georges Ceurat. They were also called pointillists, – they wrote in separate dotted strokes; they themselves preferred the term “divisionism” (from the word “diviser” – “to divide”).
Sulfur, Paul Signac, were enthusiasts for the introduction of scientific methods in painting. The Impressionists wrote in clear, light tones, avoiding mixing colors on the palette, but did it not by the system, but intuitively; Rationalist-minded youth sought to establish a strict scientific order in this economy, in order to give paints more light and brilliance. Pointelets have developed a system for the interaction of spectral colors, based on the research of scientists in the field of optics. Young Sulfur, who seduced the old Pissarro with the tempting secrets of his technique, displayed at the eighth and last Impressionist exhibition the big picture “Sunday Walk to Grand-Zhatt”, written in separate small strokes-dots of pure colors, based on the calculated ratio of adjacent, contrasting, warm and cold colors .
At a distance, the strokes optically merged, giving a surprisingly natural impression of light, shadow, transition from one tone to another. At the same time, in the picture there was something inanimate, deliberate. A scheme in art, whatever it may be, is dangerous, and the more dangerous, the more it claims to be unique. Cera was an exceptionally gifted artist; his search for a universal “system” was something of an absolute search. He died very young, in the midst of this search; it is not known what his future path might be. Signac, faithful follower of Sulfur, lived a long life; his artistic practice, in which he increasingly became dekorativizm, inferior in value to his theoretical works on the problems of painting. As for Pissarro, he did not long remain a pointillist. When he exhibited his pictures in the new technique, it turned out that it was very difficult to distinguish them from the pictures of other pointillists. “System” leveled individuality, and Pissarro, not ceasing to appreciate the talent of Sera, decisively refused it and even destroyed their belongings of this period.
Impressionism seemed to triumph. His echo swept through all the countries of Europe down to far Russia. In France, the works of the Impressionists were bought up, the press became supportive of them, the salon artists began to quickly highlight their palette. As Claude Monet wrote, “official salons, first of all brown, have become blue, green and pink since the days of impressionism … But candy and chocolate are still only confectionery.”
In the meantime, the climate of the epoch was changing and new unrecognized ones were replacing, who wanted not only to continue and improve impressionism, but to challenge it and work differently. They did not have unanimity and cohesion, they did not speak in groups, but alone; only conditionally they are united by the general concept of “post-impressionists” – those that came after. The first great heretic of impressionism was the artist who worked simultaneously with its founders, their associate and friend, Paul Cezanne. No one was subjected to more severe attacks by critics than he, and the Impressionists themselves — Monet, Pissarro, Renoir — did not value anyone from their midst as highly as Cezanne. And this appreciation was not shaken, but even strengthened when it moved away from them, both in the direct sense and in the direction of creative pursuits. Already in the early 80s, Cezanne retired to his estate in Aix (Provence) and was rarely shown in Paris. Fortunately, he was well off and could not care about livelihoods. “I decided to work silently until the day when I feel able to theoretically substantiate the results of my experiments.” He was called Ekskim hermit.