What Is Pointillism Art
Pointillism is a painting technique that emerged in the late 19th century as a distinctive style within the broader Impressionist movement.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, oil on canvas, 207.6 x 308 cm. 1884–1886.
This technique involves creating an image by using small, distinct dots or points of color.
The dots are applied in patterns to form an entire picture.
When viewed from a distance, these dots blend together optically, creating the illusion of a broader range of colors and shapes.
Hospital at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, November 1889. Oil on canvas, 58 × 45 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
The term “Pointillism” was coined by art critics in the late 1880s, and it is closely associated with the work of French painters Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.
The meticulous application of individual dots of color was seen as a departure from the more traditional brushstroke methods.
Characteristics of Pointillist paintings include:
- Small Dots: The artist applies small dots or dabs of pure color to the canvas, allowing the viewer’s eye to mix and blend the colors optically.
- Optical Mixing: Instead of physically mixing colors on a palette. Pointillist artists depend on the viewer’s eye to mix and blend colors when observing the artwork from a distance.
- Divisionism: Pointillism is often considered a form of Divisionism. Colors are applied in separate dots or strokes rather than blended on the palette or canvas.
Portrait de Metzinger, oil on canvas, 55 x 43 cm.