Post-Impressionism, 1886–1900s

In the late 1800s, scientists turned an analytical eye to color, focusing on optics and human perception. These investigations fascinated a new group of artists called Neo-Impressionists, who emerged in the 1880s. This group applied scientific principles of color theory to painting, stressing structure and precision over the Impressionists’ emphasis on spontaneity and blended colors. By the 1880s and 1890s, pollution and overcrowding led many artists to flee the densely packed cities for remote rural locations or distant colonial outposts. They yearned for locales that were less urban, where the natural light was brighter and more dramatic. Some artists sought to depict a spiritual inner life, where the mystical, philosophical, and artistic came together to create a world that was more symbolic than realistic. Emotion was stressed over fact. Within the Nelson-Atkins collection are paintings and works on paper by Émile Bernard, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh.

doi: 10.37764/78973.8.700