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On this webpage you will find short info about art movements that were related to the impressionists in a sort of chronological order. For the English landscapists, the Barbizon-painters and other Pre-Impressionists see .   See here for the general references (=R) and here for references to internet pages (=iR). Most of the pictures come from the-athenaeum database (=iR2). I also link to this site for more pictures of an artist. For more info I mostly link to Wikipedia (=iR3) and WGI (=iR21). For info on the subscription of the paintings see.


Dutch landscapists (17th century):

  • painted nature in a more realistic and every day style; rendering the effects of light (R60,p51)
  • Important artists: Paulus Potter ; Ruysdael ; Hobbema ; Van der Meulen ; Van de Velde ;



Emphasize on line and composition. Use of very smooth brushstrokes, rendering pinpoint details. Historical, mythological and religious themes. Moralistic and heroic themes. The classical Greek and Roman art is seen as the standard. Landscapes were just a background for these themes, more idealised and copied from old masters in the Louvre, than observed in real nature. Figures in the landscape are rather important. Art had to be beautiful and educational. Period: 1770-1830. The most important movement teached at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Important representatives: David (Jacques-Louis; 1748-1825), Ingres (Jean-Auguste-Dominique; 1780-1867), Cabanel (Alexandre; 1823-89), Gérôme (Jean-Léon; 1824-1904), Bougereau (William-Adolphe; 1825-1905)  (info; info + pictures), (R3,p16;R13,p136/7;R172,p51-3)




Emphasize on colour, not on line. Delacroix made a study of colours in nature. “The flesh only receives its true colour in the open air and especially in the sun.” The use of colour as expression of mood. Use of contrast with complementary colours and dark-light contrasts. Loose brushstroke. Emphasize on dramatic and tragic events. Inspired by Rubens and Titian. (R3,p18/9;R172,p60-2) Important artists: Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) ; Théodore Géricault (1791-1824). See Wikipedia; the-athenaeum.


Realism / Naturalism:

  • A very broad art-movement emphasizing the rendering of the visible reality (R3,p24). The English landscapists and the Barbizon-painters are called Realists. Courbet presented himself insistently as Realist, calling his Pavillon in 1855 and 1867 ‘Pavillon du Réalisme’, see.
  • 1863: Castagnary first uses the term ‘Naturalism’; Zola will pick it up in 1865 (R3,p68)
  • The Realist painters also used people from lower social classes as model (R3,p70)
  • Later exponents of Realism are Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884), Jules Breton (1827-1906) (R3,p214)



Pointillism / divisionism:

Important representatives: Seurat, Signac, Henri Edmond Cross, Maximilien Luce, Charles Angrand (1854-1926),


Post-impressionism as a term was introduced by Roger Fry arranging an exhibition in London of modern French art in 1910. The main represents were Gauguin, Cézanne and  Van Gogh. Others were Seurat, Sérusier, Denis, Vallotton, Redon and several Fauve artists (R55, p9). So it did not represent one art-movement. Later on post-impressionism depicts (French) art from the late 1880s until 1905 when Fauvism and Cubism emerged. With Van Gogh, Seurat, Gauguin and Cézanne as the most important representatives (R55, p11). In comparison with Impressionism there is more emphasize on expressing emotions. More info.

School of Pont-Aven / Cloisonnism:

Pont-Aven is a small village in Brittany. Many painters dwelled there. Gauguin visited it frequently from 1886-89 and became the leader of the Pont-Aven school. Important representatives: Gauguin, Emile Bernard (1868-1941), Louis Anquetin (1861-1932), Charles Laval, Armand Séguin. Bernard came with the idea of planes of colours separated by black or blue lines, with leaving out details. Gauguin worked it out and became the head of the group.


Gauguin, 1888, The Vision after the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling the Angel), 73×92, SNG Edinburgh (iR2)

Bernard, 1888, Apple Pickers at Pont-Aven, 76×62, private (iR2)

Seguin, 1891, Gooseherd at Pont-Aven, 119×60, private (iR2)


Les Nabis:

Formed in 1888 and disintegrated around 1900. Les Nabis means prophets. The group was based on friendships established during their study at Académie Julian. The group was inspired by Theosophy. First Nabis-painting was ‘The Talisman’ of Sérusier. (R55, p.128). Important representatives: Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis, Emile Bernard, Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Paul Ranson; Edouard Vuillard, Félix Valloton, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Georges Lacombe; Aristide Maillol; Ibels; Louis Valtat. Inspired by Cloisonnism they used bright colours, curved lines (Denis) and left out perspective (Bonnard + Vuillard) (R57, p45-55).


Sérusier, 1888, The Talisman, 27×22, Orsay (iR2)

Denis, 1893, (The Seasons Series) April, 36×61, K-M Otterlo (iR2)

Lacombe, 1894ca, The Ages of Life, 151×240, MPP Geneva (iR2)



Central in Symbolism is not one painting style but the idea to render the transcedent world by Symbols; to render the essence of things which is beyond reality. They rendered archaic dreams, subconscious phantasies and obsessions  and also the perverse, macabre and occult. Themes they painted were legends, myths,  allegories and also the ‘femme-fatale’ (especially Salomé). The name was emerged by Moréas in 1886/09/18. Many exhibited in the Salon-de-la-Rose+Croix (1892-97?) (R57). Some date Symbolism from 1866-1914 others from 1880-1900, which are clearly the peak years. Forerunners were William Blake, J.H. Füssli, Goya, Puvis de Chavannes. Important representatives were Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon, The Nabis, The Pre-Raphaelites, Fernand Khnopff, Arnold Böcklin, James Ensor, Jean Delville, William Degouve de Nuncques, Franz von Stuck, Carlos Schwabe, Jan Toorop, Ferdinand Hodler. Some also include Edvard Munch, Gustave Klimt, Henri Rousseau.

Degouve de Nuncques, 1894, The Angels of Night, 48×60, K-M Otterlo (iR2)

Hodler, 1897, The Dream, 95×65, Kh Zurich (iR2)

Schwabe, 1895-1900, The Grave Digger’s Death, 77×55, Louvre (iR2)