post impressionism

post impressionism

´╗┐Analyse and discuss the aims and objectives of one nineteenth-century movement in art, with reference to three artworks, each by a different artist.

Towards the end of the 19th century, artists were dissatisfied with the triviality of subject matter and the loss of structure in Impressionist paintings. Post-Impressionists extended Impressionism while rejecting its limitations . The new generation of painters sought to restore a sense of order and structure to painting, whilst still maintaining the real life subject matter, saturated colours and spontaneity of the impressionists. In this essay I will be discussing three paintings by post impressionist painters and how their works demonstrate the aims and objectives of their movement.

1) Vincent van Gogh's 'The Starry Night' (1889, Museum of Modern Art, New York City)
2) Paul Gauguin's 'Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?' (1898, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
3) Toulouse-Lautrec's 'At the Moulin Rouge' (c.1895, Art Institute of Chicago)

The first painting, 'The Starry Night' (1889), demonstrates a thick impasto technique and distortion of form for expressive effect.

In the painting, the overwhelming night sky, takes up most of the background. Its swirling, flowing lines appear to be undulating across the background in a gentle, wavy motion and seem to merge at the centre to form a spiralled nebula. Eleven fiery yellow stars illuminate this whole piece and contrast with the cool blue, fluid night sky that takes on a variety of shades from ultramarine to grey. There is also the crescent moon at the top right hand corner that radiates a more orange, brighter light from the rest of the stars that compliments the blue shades of the sky. The view of the night sky and village is partially blocked by the towering cypress tree in the left of the foreground. Its black-green colouring contrasts with the rest of the relatively pastel piece. The quaint houses and church of the...

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