The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Fine Arts   European ArtPost-Impressionism  
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Post-Impressionism embraces a variety of artists, working around the years 1886-1905, who were influenced by Impressionism but took their art in other directions. The leading Post-Impressionists were four great innovators of modern art: Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat.

Cézanne introduced a new way of presenting depth and volume. His work reflects an understanding that the power of a picture depends on the relation of its parts to the whole. Using multiple planes or facets of color to create a sense of volume, he reduced nature, figures, and architecture to geometric forms, thus laying the foundation for Cubism and many other 20th-century movements. 

In search of a primordial environment untouched by modern civilization, Gauguin left France for the South Seas. There he liberated form and color from the confines of Western objectivity, infusing his art with a mysterious, spiritual quality.

The work of van Gogh captures the color, tempo, and complexity of life on a viscerally pulsing surface. His frenzied brushstrokes and frequent distortion of forms expressed the artist's own emotional turmoil.

Seurat's legacy can be studied here through the work of his associates, Paul Signac and Théo Van Rysselberghe. Their Neo-Impressionist, or Pointillist, style involves the application of small units of paint according to scientific theories of color and optics. Up close, the canvas is a mass of contrasting dots, but at a distance, a shimmering, luminous image emerges. 

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