Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Art of Pointillism

Have you ever heard of pointillism? This technique emerged as part of the Neo-Impressionist movement of the late 19th century and will be our topic this week on Clef Notes.

While Impressionism was known to blur images and mix pigments, Neo-Impressionist artists attempted to move away from these methods by meticulously placing separate dots on their canvas that, from a distance, formed a beautiful image. This technique is known as pointillism and artists believed that it would create a vibrant palate for the viewer’s eye.

Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 
Courtesy of wikimedia.org 
I am sure many of you recognize the image above. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was painted in 1884 and is one of Georges Seurat’s most well-known works. Using pointillism, it’s interesting to note that, while the individual dots can be observed up close, the work appears as solid color from a distance.

How does pointillism exemplify itself in music? Find out next time as we look at the work of Anton Webern. 

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