Pointillism in Art History82890

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What's pointillism?

Pointillism is a painting technique whereby 1000s of tiny dots of the pure colour are put on a canvas not far from one another to form a picture. The main concept behind pointillism is to use dots of just 2-3 colours in the particular area. Small the dots, the clearer the painting will be as well as the sharper its lines will probably be. The essential idea behind pointillism is your mind and eye blend the colors together to produce the image when viewed from the distance.

Does it have a particular subject matter?

No - pointillism is focused on the painting technique. No matter what the subject matter is, so long as it's painted with small dots of pure colour. There are lots of famous paintings covering different subject matters that are painted inside the pointillist style. For example Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait and Paul Signac's Sunday, which depicts a Parisian couple in your own home over a typical Sunday.

Who developed it?

Pointillism was created by Impressionist painters Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Seurat's pointillism painting, Sunday Afternoon around the Island of los angeles Grande Jatte, is among his most well-known works and it is known throughout the world. This specific painting took control of two years to complete and stays probably the most iconic pointillist painting. Seurat died in 1891 but Signac continued doing french pointillist artists paintings and completed many paintings using the technique.

When achieved it begin?

In 1886 Seurat and Signac pioneered this painting technique as a branch of Impressionism. Seurat originally referred to it as 'divisionism,' referring to how a image is divided into many different dots of colour. However, art critics weren't too favourable and labelled this technique 'pointillism' being an insult to pointillist works. The reason behind this is how the critics didn't think pointillism was as renowned or impressive as other painting techniques. Nowadays, however, the word 'pointillism' can be used minus the insulting connotations it once suffered from.

When achieved it reach its peak?

Pointillism reached its peak in the 1880s and 1890s. There are very few artists of note that have done paintings in this style. One of the reasons why pointillism didn't have a larger impact was because pointillist paintings never allow for depth or texture. An entire array of colours can be produced in the pointillist painting, but pointillism was a little more about lots of little parts forming an entire. It was all about the technique and achieving a person's eye to join the dots, as they say. It was never intended to be considered genuine as an art movement, so it wasn't.


Though pointillism being a single art movement didn't remove around other movements, it did from the foundation of neo-impressionism. This new branch of impressionism was comprised of a more scientific approach to painting, considering lines and hues inside a more methodical way. This movement started waning after the 19th century, however it influenced key painters including Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Paul Gaugouin.

Pointillism today

Pointillism continues to be used as a painting technique today. It's well past its peak, but many artists remain intrigued about it and luxuriate in creating pointillist paintings. It provides a different way of painting and allows you to consider paintings in another way. It may not be one of the most influential or well-known of movements, however it is quit a mark.