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postimpressionism, term coined by Roger Fry to refer to the work of a number of French painters active at the end of the 19th cent. who, although they developed their varied styles quite independently, were united in their rejection of impressionism. The foremost of these were Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, and Braque. The first major exhibitions of their works were held in London in 1910–11 and in 1912. The term embraces a far wider school of thought than the neoimpressionism of Seurat and Signac. In this more systematic and precise approach, also called divisionism or pointillism, small dabs of pure color on the canvas were meant to be mixed by the eye of the viewer to produce intense color effects.


See studies by J. Rewald (1962) and L. Nochlin (1966).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



or pointillism, a style of painting, developed by G. Seurat and P. Signac, characteristic of neoimpressionism. The technique involves the orderly breakdown of a complex color tone into pure colors that are applied to the canvas with separate brush strokes. When perceived by the viewer, these strokes blend optically. Divisionism was used by H. Cross and, to some extent, C. Pissarro in France, G. Segantini in Italy, and T. van Rysselberghe in Belgium. Elements of divisionism appear in several works by I. E. Grabar’ in Russia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.