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Impressionism vs Cubism

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Evolution from Post Impressionism to Cubism.

Post Impressionism is considered to be one of the earliest avant-garde movements of the 19th century. It lasted from approximately 1885 to 1910. Artists of this time focused on the emotional, symbolic, and spiritual elements that were not found in works from Impressionism. There was the use of light, shadows, and colors from Impressionism. It opened up a new world for modern art and stretched boundaries.

This period began with artists such as Money, Degas, and Renoir. Van Gogh’s Starry Night is one of the most famous paintings in the history of art. He completed it while being in an insane asylum, which is why it is said that this was how Van Gogh saw the world while mentally insane. It shows Saint Remy, a small town under a night sky of swirling stars and a large dark cypress tree on the left side of the painting. Van Gogh used thickly applied paint, which was unseen in any other works at the time. This painting consisted of his imagination, memories, and emotions.

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Cubism was the movement that followed Post Impressionism and opened up the path for many modern movements in the 20th century. It was an innovative art movement that focused on looking at subjects in new ways in an effort to depict three-dimensions on flat canvases. This movement began in 1908 and lasted through the 1920s. There were two types of Cubism, analytical and synthetic. Analytical was the first stage of the movement and in this stage, artists would analyze a subject and break it into blocks by looking from different angles. Synthetic Cubism was the second stage, introducing the idea of adding mixed materials into collages.

Artists would use materials such as newspapers and colored papers to represent different parts of a subject. Brighter colors and a lighter mood were also introduced during this stage. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is the most famous example of Cubism painting. Being an analytical painting the subject in it is at least somewhat recognizable Picasso abandoned all known forms and used the distortion of the female’s body and geometric forms in a creative new way. This painting is revolutionary because of its perspective, being there is no vanishing point so there is nowhere for the eyes to go beyond the women and the way they are looking at the viewers.

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Impressionism vs Cubism. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
“Impressionism vs Cubism.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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