Post Impressionism Vs Impressionism

Post Impressionism Vs Impressionism: A Tale of Artistic Evolution

Post-Impressionism and Impressionism are two separate art movements that emerged in France in the late 19th century. Post-Impressionism developed as a reaction to Impressionism, emphasizing more individualistic and symbolic styles of painting, while Impressionism focused on capturing spontaneous, fleeting moments using light and color.

During the late 19th century, two distinct art movements emerged in France: Post-Impressionism and Impressionism. Post-Impressionism, as a reaction to Impressionism, focused on individual expression and symbolism in painting. This movement sought to go beyond Impressionism’s emphasis on capturing fleeting moments and instead explored more subjective and expressive styles.

Impressionism, on the other hand, prioritized depicting the visual impression of a particular moment, emphasizing the play of light and color. Through this movement, artists aimed to capture the atmosphere and essence of a scene rather than focusing on intricate details. These two art movements marked significant shifts in artistic techniques and philosophies during this period.

Post Impressionism Vs Impressionism: A Tale of Artistic Evolution


Background Of Impressionism And Post Impressionism

Impressionism and Post Impressionism were two major art movements that emerged in the late 19th century, revolutionizing the world of art. These movements challenged the traditional norms of artistic representation and paved the way for a new era of artistic expression.

Origins Of Impressionism In The Late 19th Century

The Impressionist movement originated in France in the late 19th century, as a response to the rigid academic standards of the time. Painters of this movement sought to capture the fleeting moments and transient effects of light and color.

Impressionists rebelled against the strict techniques and subject matter dictated by the French Academy of Fine Arts. They strived to depict their personal interpretations of reality, focusing on capturing the essence of a subject rather than creating a realistic representation.

Characteristics Of Impressionist Art Style

The Impressionist art style was characterized by several distinctive features. First and foremost, impressionists emphasized the use of light and color to evoke emotions and create a sense of atmosphere. They employed loose brushstrokes and vibrant colors to convey movement and immediacy.

Moreover, impressionists often depicted everyday scenes and subjects, such as landscapes, cityscapes, and leisure activities. They focused on portraying the effects of light and weather conditions on these subjects, capturing the changing nuances of color and shadow.

Artists Associated With Impressionism

Several notable artists were associated with the Impressionist movement. Claude Monet, with his iconic series of water lilies and haystacks, is regarded as one of the pioneers of Impressionism. Other prominent artists include Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro.

These artists not only shared a similar style, but they also exhibited together in the famous Impressionist exhibitions held in Paris during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Despite facing initial criticism and rejection, these artists had a profound impact on the art world and inspired the generations that followed.

Transition From Impressionism To Post Impressionism

As the Impressionist movement gained recognition and popularity, artists began to explore new avenues of expression. This led to the emergence of the Post Impressionist movement, which built upon the foundations laid by the Impressionists but pushed the boundaries even further.

Post Impressionist artists sought to express their individual perspectives and emotions through their art. They experimented with form, color, and composition, moving away from the naturalistic approach of Impressionism. While Impressionists aimed to capture the immediate moment, Post Impressionists focused on the artist’s subjective experience and personal vision.

Notable Post Impressionist artists include Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Paul Gauguin. Their distinct styles and contributions paved the way for many artistic movements that followed, leaving an indelible mark on the history of art.

Key Similarities Between Impressionism And Post Impressionism

Impressionism and Post Impressionism are two influential art movements that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While they have distinct characteristics, there are notable similarities that connect these artistic styles. Let’s explore the key similarities between Impressionism and Post Impressionism, including the use of light and color, the influence of nature and outdoor scenes, and the emphasis on capturing a fleeting moment.

Use Of Light And Color In Both Art Movements

Both Impressionism and Post Impressionism share a fascination with the effects of light and color in their artworks. These movements sought to capture the fleeting nature of light and depict its ever-changing qualities. Impressionists and Post Impressionists aimed to represent light as it appeared in a specific moment, rather than relying on strict academic conventions.

Impressionists, such as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, used rapid brushstrokes and a vibrant color palette to evoke the impression of light and its reflective properties. Their artworks often featured vibrant landscapes, cityscapes, and scenes of everyday life bathed in natural light. On the other hand, Post Impressionists, including Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne, experimented with more expressive and symbolic use of color, taking the emphasis on light and color to new heights.

Influence Of Nature And Outdoor Scenes

Nature played a significant role in both Impressionism and Post Impressionism. Artists from both movements found inspiration in the natural world and sought to capture its essence in their paintings. Impressionists and Post Impressionists frequently depicted outdoor scenes, including landscapes, gardens, and countryside vistas, often en plein air (meaning outdoors).

The use of outdoor settings allowed artists to observe firsthand the changing light, colors, and atmospheric conditions. Impressionists aimed to depict the immediate experience of nature, while Post Impressionists explored deeper emotional and spiritual connections to the natural world. Regardless of the approach, both movements valued the direct observation of nature and its translation onto the canvas.

Emphasis On Capturing A Fleeting Moment

Both Impressionism and Post Impressionism emphasized the fleeting moment, aiming to capture the transitory nature of perception and experience. Impressionists sought to depict the instantaneous effects of light and movement, often choosing subjects that were in motion or depicted everyday scenes from modern life. Through loose brushwork and Impressionistic techniques, they created a sense of impermanence and spontaneity.

Post Impressionists built upon the foundation established by Impressionism but pushed the boundaries further. They delved deeper into capturing their subjective interpretation of reality and inner emotions. Artists like van Gogh and Cézanne experimented with bold brushstrokes, unconventional perspectives, and distorted forms to express their inner world and convey their unique perceptions of the fleeting moment.

Differences In Subject Matter

Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are two distinct movements in the world of art that emerged in the late 19th century. While both styles broke away from traditional approaches to painting, they differ significantly in their subject matter. The Impressionists focused on capturing everyday scenes and leisure activities, while the Post-Impressionists delved deeper into emotions and symbolism.

Impressionist Focus On Everyday Scenes And Leisure Activities

The Impressionists, including renowned artists such as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, had a keen interest in depicting the fleeting qualities of light and atmosphere. They sought to capture the essence of a moment, often painting en plein air to capture the immediacy and vibrancy of their subjects. Their subject matter primarily consisted of everyday scenes and leisure activities.

Impressionist painters frequently turned their attention to landscapes, cityscapes, and rural scenes. They celebrated the beauty of nature, portraying fields, rivers, gardens, and the changing seasons. Street scenes, cafes, and bustling city life were also common themes. Their artworks often emphasized the hustle and bustle of modern life, depicting people engaged in leisurely pursuits such as strolling through parks, enjoying picnics, or boating on rivers.

Post-impressionist Exploration Of Deeper Emotions And Symbolism

The Post-Impressionists, who followed in the footsteps of the Impressionist movement, sought to go beyond mere representation of the external world. Artists like Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin ventured into the complexities of human emotions, exploring the realm of symbolism and personal expression in their work.

Post-Impressionist artists emphasized the inner landscape of the mind and soul, infusing their paintings with deeper meanings and subjective interpretations. They moved away from the objective representation of reality towards a more subjective expression of their inner world. Seeking to evoke an emotional response from viewers, they employed vivid colors, expressive brushstrokes, and unconventional compositions to convey their thoughts and feelings.

Shift From Objective Representation To Subjective Expression

Impressionism and Post-Impressionism mark a significant shift in the approach to painting. The Impressionists aimed to depict the world as they saw it, capturing the effects of light and atmosphere in fleeting moments. On the other hand, the Post-Impressionists broke away from objective representation, diving deep into the realms of subjective expression and personal interpretation.

Techniques And Approaches Of Impressionism And Post Impressionism

Impressionism and Post Impressionism were two significant art movements that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, revolutionizing the way artists approached their subjects. Both embraced a departure from traditional artistic techniques, aiming to capture the essence of a moment rather than strictly adhering to academic standards. However, there are distinct differences between the two movements in terms of their techniques and approaches.

Impressionist Brushwork And Emphasis On Capturing Effects Of Light

Impressionist artists, such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas, were renowned for their loose brushwork and their ability to depict the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere. Their aim was to capture the ever-changing nature of the subject, be it a landscape, a street scene, or a portrait. The use of short, visible brushstrokes allowed them to convey movement, energy, and the play of light on their canvases.

Impressionist brushwork was characterized by its spontaneity and its emphasis on capturing the essence of a moment. Instead of meticulously blending colors, Impressionist painters used small, individual brushstrokes of pure color which, when viewed from a distance, blended together to create the intended effect. This technique brought a sense of vibrancy and life to their artworks, making them appear more alive and dynamic.

Post Impressionist Experimentation With Color And Form

While Impressionism was rooted in capturing the effects of light, Post Impressionism took the movement one step further by experimenting with color and form. Artists such as Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat pushed the boundaries of traditional representation, striving for a deeper emotional connection with their viewers.

Post Impressionist artists used bold and expressive colors, often non-naturalistic, to convey emotion or to create a specific mood within their artworks. They believed that color could evoke a more profound response from the viewer, transcending the mere representation of the subject. Additionally, Post Impressionism introduced a more structured and deliberate approach to form, moving away from the gestural brushwork of Impressionism.

Innovation And Individuality In Post Impressionist Techniques

Post Impressionism notable for its focus on individuality and experimentation. Artists within this movement not only explored color and form but also developed their own unique techniques and styles.

For instance, Vincent van Gogh was known for his thick, dramatic brushwork and his expressive use of color to depict his intense emotional states. He aimed to convey his inner world on the canvas, creating highly subjective and personal artworks.

In contrast, Georges Seurat pioneered the technique of Pointillism or Divisionism, where small dots or strokes of pure color are arranged to form an image. This meticulous technique created a luminous and textured surface when viewed from a distance.

Impact And Legacy Of Impressionism And Post Impressionism

Impressionism and Post Impressionism were two groundbreaking art movements that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While Impressionism sought to capture the fleeting moments of light and color in the natural world, Post Impressionism took these ideas further by exploring heightened emotion and individual expression. The impact and legacy of these movements are far-reaching, influencing subsequent art movements and artists, as well as leaving a lasting historical significance on the art world.

Influence On Subsequent Art Movements And Artists

The techniques and artistic ideas developed by the Impressionists and Post Impressionists had a profound influence on subsequent art movements and artists. Here are some key examples:

  1. Cubism: The exploration of multiple perspectives and fragmentation of form in Cubism can be traced back to the Post Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne. His unconventional approach to depicting objects and landscapes paved the way for the development of Cubist art by artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
  2. Fauvism: The vibrant and bold use of color in Fauvist paintings can be seen as an extension of the emphasis on color and light in Impressionism. Artists like Henri Matisse and André Derain were inspired by the Impressionists’ departure from traditional color palettes and pushed the boundaries of color even further.
  3. Expressionism: The emotional intensity and subjective interpretation of reality explored by Expressionist artists can be seen as a continuation of the Post Impressionist emphasis on individual expression. Artists like Edvard Munch and Wassily Kandinsky were influenced by the Post Impressionists in their exploration of the inner world of emotions and spirituality.

Historical Significance And Lasting Impact On The Art World

The historical significance of Impressionism and Post Impressionism lies in their revolutionary departure from traditional academic art. These movements challenged the established norms of artistic representation, introducing new ways of perceiving and depicting the world.

The legacy of Impressionism and Post Impressionism can be seen in the modern art world. These movements paved the way for artistic experimentation and the rejection of strict artistic conventions. Moreover, their emphasis on capturing the fleeting sensations of light, color, and emotion laid the foundation for abstract and non-representational art.

Continued Appreciation And Recognition Of Impressionist And Post Impressionist Works

The works of Impressionist and Post Impressionist artists continue to be highly sought after and revered in the art world. Exhibitions dedicated to these movements draw large crowds, and their works command high prices at auctions.

Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings capture a sense of immediacy and evoke an emotional response from viewers. The vibrant brushwork, play of light and color, and innovative compositions continue to captivate art lovers of all generations. Additionally, these movements are also widely taught and studied in art schools and universities, ensuring that their legacy is not forgotten.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Post Impressionism Vs Impressionism

What Are 4 Characteristics Of Post-impressionism?

The four characteristics of Post-Impressionism are vibrant colors, bold brushwork, subjective expression, and the exploration of emotion and personal interpretation.

What Is The Difference Between Post-impressionism And Neo Impressionism?

Post-Impressionism and neo Impressionism differ in their approach to color and brushwork. While Post-Impressionists focused on subjective expression, neo Impressionists used small dots of pure color to create an optical effect.

What Are The Differences Between Impressionism And Post-impressionism Quizlet?

Impressionism focused on capturing immediate light and color, while Post-Impressionism emphasized expression and structure.

How Do You Identify Post-impressionism?

Post-Impressionism is identified by its use of vibrant colors, thick and visible brushstrokes, and distorted or unrealistic compositions. Artists in this movement sought to express their emotions and subjective experience through their unique visual language.


In closing, the comparison between Post Impressionism and Impressionism reveals the evolution and distinct features of these two influential art movements. While Impressionism sought to capture fleeting moments and emphasize light and color, Post Impressionism pushed boundaries, delving into individual expression and abstraction.

Understanding the nuances and differences between these two styles can enrich our appreciation for the diversity and richness of art history. Explore further to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of artistic innovation and transformation.

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