Dates: 1884-1905

Origin: France

Key Artists: Paul Signac, Georges Seurat

Term invented by Paul Signac to describe the Neo-Impressionist separation of colour into dots or patches applied directly to the canvas. Following the rules of colour-contrasts laid out by Ogden Rood and Michel-Eugène Chevreul, this method was intended to produce maximum brilliance scientifically and to avoid the muddiness caused by physically mixing colours before applying them to the canvas. Seen close to, a Divisionist canvas is a mass of contrasting dots: at a distance, the colours enhance each other to produce an effect of shimmering luminosity. Divisionism refers to the general principle of the separation of colour, unlike the term Pointillism, which refers specifically to the use of dots. Employed in France by members of the Neo-Impressionist group, Divisionism was also popular in Belgium among Les XX and in the Netherlands.

Tosini, Aurora Scotti. “Divisionism.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 11 Mar. 2010 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T022975&gt;

Paul Signac

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