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).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art, 1600 to the Present