Opera del caso #5

Georges Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-1886

Neo- Impressionism has, properly speaking, little to do with Impressionism. In its purest form, as it is found in Seurat , it involves the use of Divisionism and a strict, formal composition; both were too cerebral and too consciously applied by the artist to have much relation to the fleeting color effects and the accidental, ‘snapshot’ composition of Impressionism. Neo- Impressionism was first seen in an exhibition held in 1884 in Paris by the Salon des Artistes Indipendants, where Seurat exhibited the Bathers at Asnieres (London, Tate), and in 1886 Seurat, Signac, and Pissarro all showed works based on Seurat’s theories at the last Impressionist exhibition, hence the tendency to regard the movement as an offshoot of Impressionism. According to Signac it ‘guaranteed all the benefits of luminosity , colors, and harmony by the optical mixture of pure pigments (all the colors of the prism and all their tones); by the separation of differing elements (local colors, the color of the light, and their interactions); by the balancing of these elements and their proportions (according to the laws of contrasts, of gradation, and irradiation); by the selection of a size of touch proportionate to the size of the picture.’
The theory had a strong but passing effect on Van Gogh during his years in Paris (1886-8), on Gaugain c.1886, on Toulouse-Lautrec c.1887, and on Segantini c.1891; other adherents include Maximilien Luce (1854-1926), Albert Dubois-Pillet (1846-90), and Theo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926).
[taken from The Dictionary of Art and Artists by Peter and Linda Murray, Penguin,1959]