Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin

Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin

Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin

Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin

Excerpt

At the height of the short period covered in the present volume the Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren exclaimed: "There is no longer any single school, there are scarcely any groups, and those few are constantly splitting. All these tendencies make me think of moving and kaleidoscopic geometric patterns, which clash at one moment only to unite at another, which now fuse and then separate and fly apart a little later, but which all nevertheless revolve within the same circle, that of the new art."

It is this "circle of the new art" which is the subject of the present study, but it is indeed an intricate and confusing subject. While in my History of Impressionism I endeavored to trace the tribulations of a small group of painters until it disbanded in 1886, the present volume begins with that same year 1886 and tries to tell what happened in the few but decisive years that followed. But whereas the story of the impressionist movement offered as a central theme the series of group exhibitions which periodically brought together the various painters and maintained a certain link between them, the post-impressionist period presents no such common denominator. The History of Impressionism actually called for a "simultaneous" treatment, each fact and document falling almost automatically into its logical place, once the general plan was established. But this does not apply to the succeeding years. The groups which assembled and dispersed with great fluidity were of no particular homogeneity . . .

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