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"Another painter who carried forward the theories of impressionism was Seurat. Georges Seurat (1859-1891) attacked the problem from the angle of the psychological effect of line direction and line relationship and of the science of related colors. Steeping himself in the color theories of Delacroix and of the color scientists of his time, Helmholtz and Chevreul, he worked out a system of putting the pigment on in tiny roundish dots, of about equal size, with scientific precision as to the color relation of dot to dot (a method known as pointillism) — an enormously difficult procedure, as severely disciplined and painstaking as the impressionist method was spontaneous and exuberant." --Gardner's Art Through the Ages (1926) by Helen Gardner

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Pointillism is a style of painting in which small distinct points of primary colors create the impression of a wide selection of secondary and intermediate colors. The technique relies on the perceptive ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to mix the color spots into a fuller range of tones, and is related closely to Divisionism, a more technical variant of the method. It is a style with few serious practitioners, and is notably seen in the works of Seurat, Signac, and Cross. The term itself was first coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists, and is now used without its earlier mocking connotation.

The practice of Pointillism is in sharp contrast to the more common method of blending pigments on a palette or using the many commercially-available premixed colors. The latter is analogous to the CMYK or four-color printing process used by personal color printers and large presses; Pointillism is not analogous to the colors and process used by computer monitors and television sets to produce colors ; the latter uses green and no yellow at all to produce colors from green through orange as well as gray,brown and black.


If red, blue and green light are mixed (the additive primaries) the result is something close to white light. The brighter effect of pointillist colours could rise from the fact that subtractive mixing is avoided and something closer to the effect of additive mixing is obtained even through pigments.

The brushwork used to perform pointillistic color mixing is at the expense of traditional brushwork which could be used to delineate texture. Color television receivers and computer screens, both CRT and LCD, use tiny dots of primary red, green, and blue to render color, and can thus be regarded as a kind of pointillism.

Pointillism also refers to a style of 20th century music composition, used by composers like Anton Webern.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pointillism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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