There are so many outstanding French artists who, although did not practice impressionism, were highly influenced by them. Many of the art movements and techniques that evolved from impressionism, fall under the broad term post-impressionism.

Post-impressionism art - Cubism
Post-impressionism art – Cubism

What exactly is Post-Impressionism?

Post-Impressionism is the umbrella term of a few distinct artistic movements that arose and evolved from impressionism. The post-Impressionism art movement developed in the 1890s.

Post-impressionism is generally characterized by a subjective approach to painting. Painters opt to evoke emotion rather than realism in their work. The following painters belong to the post-impressionism movement:

Vincent Willem van Gogh
Post-impressionism – Van Gogh -Starry Night

Paul Gauguin’s scandalous Art Career

Paul Gauguin was a French post-impressionism painter. Art historians claim that he  is one of the leading pioneers of post-Impressionism. He broke free from Europe’s bourgeois restrictions and went to the French Polynesian Islands in search of creative liberation.

However, he is considered a fraud to others, lying about the exotic life in the French Polynesian islands and instead satisfying his exotic fantasies. I will let you be the judge. Press here to read about Gauguin’s dubious artistic career & view his beautiful paintings.

Paul Gauguin Paintings
Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]

Henri Matisse – Post-Impressionism Painter

Henri Matisse is regarded as the greatest colorist of the 20th century. He emerged as a Post-Impressionist, and achieved ultimate recognition as one of the leaders of the Fauvism art movement. 

Along with his contemporaries such as Pablo Picasso, he played a major role in advancing plastic arts in the early 20th century, and laying the foundations for modern painting and sculpture. Press here for more information.

Henri Matisse – Post-Impressionism art movement

Neoimpressionism – Pointillism (painting with dots!)

One fascinating post-impressionism movement is neoimpressionism, also called Pointillism. As opposed to the Impressionists who spontaneously captured light and color of landscapes while painting outdoors, neoimpressionism applied scientific optical principles of light and color to create strictly regulated artworks.

The scientific color theory behind neoimpressionism states that by juxtaposing complementary colors one could produce the impression of another color. Instead of mixing colors on the palette or on the canvas, the primary-color components of each color are placed separately on the canvas in tiny dabs (or dots). The mixture of the colors occurs in the spectator’s eye. This is termed “optical mixture”.

Post-impressionism painters, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac were the main founders of pointillism. However, many other artists experimented with these techniques, including the impressionist Pissarro and Van Gogh.

Neoimpressionism - Pointillism
Neoimpressionism – Pointillism

Georges Seurat – Dots Dots & more Dots

Georges Seurat only lived until the age of 31 but left an incredible artistic legacy in his brief career as a neo-impressionism painter. He is most famous for creating Pointillism (paintings created by thousands of dots!!! ) Press here to view some of his beautiful artwork and read about the artist.

Pointillism - neoimpressionism
La Seine à la Grande-Jatte – Seurat [Public Domain]

Paul Signac- Pioneer of Neoimpressionism

Paul Signac was another French painter in the post-impressionism era. In particular, Signac is famous for his pioneering of neoimpressionism. Inspired by the works of Impressionist artist Claude Monet and later on by Georges Seurat, Signac abandoned his initial studies in architecture to pursue painting.

Seurat’s complex studies of the color theory greatly influenced Signac and he embraced the pointillism techniques. Click here to read more about Signac and to view some of his masterpieces.

Paul Signac - painting
Paul Signac – painting / Pointillism

Whimsical Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy’s paintings expres the most optimistic aspects of the 20th century with humour and style.

His paintings are full of whimsical bright colors depicting leisure activities and landscapes. He revisited certain themes throughout his lifetime, including those from the French Riviera, opera, seaside, sailing regattas, horse racing and musical events. The joy and lightness conveyed throughout Dufy’s paintings are not only due to the subject matter but also to the artist’s distinct style and exceptional use of colour.

Although influenced by the impressionists in his early days, he was later more influenced by the post-impressionism painters such as Cezanne and Picasso.

Click here for more information about this wonderful painter.

Raoul Dufy mural “Electricity Fairy” in the Modern Art Museum Paris
Daniel Hennemand on Flickr

Suzanne Valadon – A Female Painter who Lived by Her Rules Only!

Suzanne Valadon (French, 1865–1938) was a trapeze acrobat, a painter, a sketcher and an artist model for many famous painters. She taught herself painting and rose from the background of a poor, uneducated street child to one of most notable painters of the post-impressionism generation. Valadon is also famous for being the mother of the French artist Maurice Utrillo.

Her determination to succeed as an artist in her own right, as a woman and without any access to formal training, is what makes her story an important one to remember. Press here to read about this remarkable painter.

Reclining Nude - by Suzanne Valadon
Reclining Nude – by Suzanne Valadon / Wikimedia Commons

Marc Chagall – Russian / French Painter of Longing & Love

Marc Chagall hnever associated himself with any particular art movement. However, when he left Russia for Paris, he absorbed all the different avante garde painting styles of the time. Impressionism, cubism and fauvism art influenced his style.

Chagall’s paintings capture his feelings of deep yearning for his family and the destroyed Jewish life of his childhood village back in Russia. His paintings express his longing, love and connection to his Jewish roots and his love to both Russia and France. Press here for more information about this tormented but incredibly talented artist.

Marc Chagall Painting entitled: Rain - village life in Vitebsk, Belorussia
A scene from his childhood village in Vitebsk, Belorussia – Marc Chagall Painting

The Tragic Italian Painter – Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani, was born into a Jewish family in Livorno, Italy. By the time Modigliani was only sixteen, he had survived near-fatal bouts of pleurisy and typhoid fever. Soon after, Modigliani contracted the early-death-sentence disease – Tuberculosis.

With limited time, sickly Modigliani moved to Paris at twenty-one to follow his dreams of becoming a painter.

Modigliani barely sold any paintings during his life. In desperation, the artist sometimes approached galleries door to door or bartered his paintings for rent and food.

The Italian artist felt constantly frustrated with failure and dealing with health problems. He turns to drugs and alcohol and is addicted.

Modigliani has only one solo exhibition held in Paris. His nude paintings created such a huge scandal, that this exhibition was temporarily shut down by the police….. Press here for more details about Modigliani’s tragic life.

Amedeo Mogdiliani Portraits - post impressionism
Amedeo Mogdiliani Portraits

Andre Derain – Fauvism, Cubism, Pointillism & Neoclassism – A Master Of All!

Andre Derain was one of the fortunate artists to receive great recognition and success during his lifetime.

Over his long artistic career Derain experimented and adopted a large range of styles. His most notable achievement however, was his significant role in the development of Fauvism art. The unrestrained use of color was a new means of artistic interpretation, influencing generations of future painters.

Andre Derain - French Painter - London cityscape - Fauvism art
Andre Derain – French Painter – London cityscape – Fauvism art

Colorful, Whimsical Pierre Bonnard

Beautiful, bold colors are the signature style of Pierre Bonnard’s paintings. In fact, art historians describe Bonnard as being one the greatest colorists of the 20th century.

Pierre Bonnard was a French colorist, lithographer and poster designer. He is also famous for being one of the founding members of the group of symbolist painters called Les Nabis.

Many of the art movements of his time influenced Bonnards style. However, Bonnard did not align himself with any of them. His beautiful paintings display elements of impressionism, post-impressionism and Japonism.

For more information about this wonderful painter, press here

Pierre Bonnard Painting - nude woman
Pierre Bonnard Painting – Intimism style [Public Domain]

Maximilien Luce – A Neo-Impressionism Painter & Anarchist

Maximilien Luce is a post-impressionism painter. The neo-impressionism painters, Pissarro, Seurat and Signac, greatly influenced him. Luce was also an accomplished lithographer and draftsman.

Coming from poverty himself, Luce felt drawn to paint the lives of the working class. He was an active anarchist and spent time in prison for his activities. His paintings are bold, passionate, raw and truly amazing.

 Maximilien Luce painting - Montmartre, Paris - Pointillism Art
Maximilien Luce painting – Montmartre, Paris – Pointillism Art

Albert Marquet – One of the Forgotten Painters

Albert Marquet (1875-1947) is one of the lesser known French post-impressionism artists of the twentieth century.

Marquet did not align himself with any of the post-impressionism art movements. However in his early days and with his acquaintence with the Fauvists, his early paintings display Fauvism elements. However, quickly he moved on to softer and more natural colors.

Marquet spent the majority of his life traveling the world. His paintings portray many of the places he sailed to, including Italy, Sweden, Germany and North Africa.

Press here to read more about this wonderful French artist.

Albert Marquet - Post Impressionism Painting  [Public Domain]
Albert Marquet – Post Impressionism Painting [Public Domain]