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General Overview

The Impressionist artists opened up a new world of modern art. The Post-impressionists wanted to continue to stretch those boundaries. The term was coined by Roger Fry, a British art critic, to describe the artists who came immediately after the Impressionists.

When was the Post-impressionism Era?

Post-impressionism began with a new generation of artists after the Impressionists such as Monet, Degas, and Renoir. It lasted approximately from 1885 to 1910.

What are the characteristics of Post-impressionism?

The Post-impressionists had learned about using light, shadows, and colors in their art from the Impressionists. They wanted to add their own new ideas to art. They began to try new subjects, techniques, perspectives, and shapes to express their thoughts and emotions in art.

Examples of Post-impressionism Art

Starry Night (Vincent van Gogh)

Starry Night by van Gogh is one of the most famous paintings in the history of art. The painting shows a small town (Saint-Remy) under a night sky of swirling stars. There is a large dark cypress tree to the left. Van Gogh used thickly applied paint and painted with a passion. He painted Starry Night while in an insane asylum in 1889.

The Starry Night
(Click image to see larger version)

The Sleeping Gypsy (Henri Rousseau)

The precise outlines, geometric shapes, bright colors, and fantastical imagery give this painting a peaceful and serene feeling even though the lion is standing over the sleeping gypsy. Like many great paintings, it was not well-received in 1897, but has become very popular today.

The Sleeping Gypsy
(Click image to see larger version)

The Burghers of Calais (Auguste Rodin)

One of the most famous sculptors from the Post-impressionist Era, Auguste Rodin was commissioned to make this sculpture of an event from the Hundred Years War. The city of Calais, France had been under attack by the English. The men in the sculpture were to go to the enemy dressed in rags and to sacrifice themselves for the city. The sculpture captures the emotional intensity of the moment.

The Burghers of Calais
(Click image to see larger version)

Famous Post-impressionism Artists
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