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Impressionist and Post-Impressionism Art

Updated on December 31, 2014


The impressionist artistic work has quite the disparity with the post-impression work. This has been brought about by the innovation of newer methods that artists use in designing their pieces. Let’s scutinise two works of art toshow this:

1. The Gare St. Lazare by Claude Monet (an impressionist) and

2. The A Sunday on the Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat (a post-impressionist).

Both artistic works reveal the Paris life that resulted after the industrial revolution and increased incorporation of modern technology in French citizens' ways of life. The theme is the same, but both works portray it differently.

The History, from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism

The impressionists wanted to display their work and sell it. A number of reasons hampered this. At the time, artists exhibited their work during the annual salon. A jury selected the work the salon would display. The Salon jury had rejected the impressionists work on a number of occasions. The frustration culminated because there was a whole year’s wait between the exhibitions. The impressionists, amongst them Claude Monet, came together and began hosting exhibitions of their works.

The La Gare St. Lazare by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's 'The La Gare St. Lazare'

In the La Gare St. Lazare Claude Monet shows keen interest in direct observation and the study of the scenery of the Gare St. Lazar with avid perception. Monet captures the image as to one an individual would see upon catching just a glimpse of it. Precise detail is not used but the bold colors utilized give the painting its brilliance and vibrancy.

The visual effects take preference to the details. He artistically uses the oil on canvas to show the effect that the light and shadows have on color. Though he used thin and small brush strokes, they are still visible and go to giving a depiction of the transition of light through the scene accurately.

He thus used this to accentuate properly the effects of time passing showing its changing qualities from a unique angle. Transient and momentary effects of the sunlight are captured in this is painting which is en plain air. He utilized this impression theme and including movement in artistic work as an element of human perception. He together went contrary to the norm used by academic painters.

The use of the freely brushed colors that take the precedence over the contours and the paintings’ lines shows this. This has had the overall effect of painting the scene of the modern Paris life at the ... realistically.

Understanding Post-Impressionists

The approach post-impressionists used different approach to the impressionists though they retained some of the qualities. They 'extended' the approach of impressionism. This was mostly because of dissatisfaction with the taking of the subject matter trivially by impressionists and the structure loss. Hence, in addition to the brush strokes utilization, the realism aspect by light and vivid colors used the post-impressionists put more emphasis on geometric forms that distorted form to express more effectively and also used arbitrary colors which some describe as unnatural.

The artistry of Seurat, such as A Sunday on the Grande Jatte, is of this kind.

Georges Seurat's 'A Sunday on the Grande Jatte'

The A Sunday on the Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat took two years to complete and showed persons relaxing in a park. This was a suburban park that was located on La Grande Jatte, an island in the River Seine. In Seurat's painting, he does evoke permanence but also captures the light qualities of instances used by the impressionists. His work is an example of the pointillism the post-impressionists use. He employs the technique by using tiny dabs of color. These he placed next to each other. The effect of this is that the viewer develops a composite hue.

This reduces the effect of the visual disparities caused by the colors. Seurat’s painting depicts persons in the modern era and somewhat has the message “Join as for we’re the future. He has employed this approach in various other works such as Paysage et personnages (1884–1885) and Die Insel La Grande Jatte mit Ausflüglern (1884).

A Sunday on the Grande Jatte, by Georges Seurat

Evolution of Art

The post-impressionists have thus had influence over generations of artists by their unique modes of artistic expression. However, it is right to say that post-impression developed from impression.


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