Standing before any of Seurat's half-dozen monumental canvasses such as Bathers at Asnières or La Grande Jatte, the defining achievements of a single-minded eight-year color experiment that ended with the artist's death in 1891 at age 31, one is mystified at the theoretical and technical wizardry behind marshalling tiny, measured doses of contrasting and harmonious colors into such vibrant, poised surfaces. As Paul Signac memorialized at Seurat's deathbed: "Above the bed in which poor Seurat died hangs Cirque, his last work . . . I was reminded of certain primitive paintings in which the departed has a vision, a luminous apotheosis, of the happy souls awaiting him in paradise." Of equal if not greater aesthetic pleasure are Seurat's exceptionally eloquent and expressive black conté crayon drawings, forms rendered as exquisitely as folds of soft cloth. In convincing ourselves and Greenwood Press of the value of a Neo-Impressionist research guide, viewed from the onset as a logical addition to other Greenwood bio-bibliographies and sourcebooks on late 19th and early 20th century French avant-garde colorists- Paul Gauguin ( 1991), Henri Matisse ( 1993), Georges Braque ( 1994), Les Fauves ( 1994), and the French Symbolists ( 1996) -- over time we came to appreciate the accomplishments and originality of the other Neo-Impressionists represented here.
This sourcebook compiles and organizes the literature on Neo-Impressionism in general as well as sources on eight individual French and Belgian Neo-Impressionist artists. Each individual section includes a biographical sketch, chronology, primary and secondary bibliographies, and exhibition lists (individual and group). Entire careers are covered in the sourcebook, not just their Neo-Impressionist periods.
To produce the sourcebook, from 1995 to 1998 relevant literature was gleaned from computer and card catalogues and from printed indexes and guides to the library and archival collections of major art museums, universities, and scholarly and artistic institutes in the United States and Western Europe. Standard art indexes and abstracting services, such as the Bibliography of the History of Art; Art Index, ARTbibliographies MODERN; International Repertory of the Literature of Art; Répertoire d'art et d'archéologie; Chicago Art Institute, Ryerson Library's Index to Art Periodicals; Frick Art Reference Library Original Index to Art Periodicals; Arts and Humanities Citation Index; Humanities Index; Religion Index: MLA Bibliography; Worldwide Art Catalogue Bulletin; and Répertoire des catalogues de ventes were consulted, along with pertinent bibliographic databases such as RLIN,SCIPIO, WorldCat, UnCover, FirstSearch, OCLC, and Internet sites. The sourcebook attempts to be as comprehensive as possible within time, travel, budget, and length