Pointillism is a style of painting. It had its heyday in the years between 1890 and 1910. Pointillism is classified as Post-Impressionism.
Important Pointillist artists are Georges Seurat, Gustave Cariot, Paul Signac, Henri Edmond Cross, Giovanni Segantini, the Belgian Théo van Rysselberghe and, for a few years, Camille Pissarro. On the German side, Curt Herrmann and Paul Baum are considered the main representatives of Pointillism.
Georges Seurat originally wanted to call the painting method he developed chromoluminarism (coloured light painting), but then decided on divisionism (division painting). However, Paul Signac's term Pointillism (stipple style) and Fénéon's more evolutionary term Neo-Impressionism, which Signac later accepted, became more common.
ypical for Pointillism is the strictly geometrical, often ornamental composition of the picture. In contrast to Impressionism, the aim is no longer a realistic snapshot, but a well thought-out composition. Seurat called this approach of moving from the overall composition of the picture via the geometric relationships, the composition of the picture, the relationships of light and objects down to the individual elements Divisionism.
At the beginning of the 1880s, the painter Georges Seurat was intensively occupied with the then new findings on colour theory. He studied the works of James Clerk Maxwell, Ogden Nicholas Rood, Charles Henry and above all Eugène Chevreul on colour perception and additive colour mixing. From these findings he developed a new painting technique in 1883 and 1884.
This is based on the simultaneous contrast of neighbouring colours. The entire painting consists of small regular dots of pure colour. The overall colour impression of a surface only emerges in the eye of the beholder and from a certain distance. Through optical fusion and additive colour mixing, the colour dots form shapes. Through additive colour mixing, the colours tend to become more luminous, whereas when mixed on the easel, the colours become darker and dirty colours are almost unavoidable. In this way, pointillism leaves the path of impressionism in order to find the autonomous image and its own laws.