Post-Impressionist Painters
Artists of Post-Impressionism in France.

Pin it

Seated Dancer in Pink Tights (1890)
Private Collection. Pastel painting
by Toulouse-Lautrec.

Post-Impressionist Artists (c.1880-1930)
The Top 50 Post-Impressionist Painters in France

The label Post-Impressionism was never used by the Post-Impressionists themselves. It was coined in 1910 by Roger Fry when he staged an exhibition in London called Manet and the Post-Impressionists. Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh were the central artists of this show since, according to Fry, they were the three great painters who had turned against Impressionism in the search for something beyond naturalistic painting. Manet was included as their predecessor in this quest. Other important Post-Impressionists in France included: Pierre Bonnard, Andre Derain, Matisse, Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and Toulouse-Lautrec, among many others. Several of these painters benefited from the support of the dealer and art collector Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939).

Buckwheat Harvesters at Pont-Aven
(1888) Josefowitz Collection,
Switzerland. By Emile Bernard,
co-inventor of Synthetism.

See: History of Art Timeline.

The Evening Air (c.1893)
Musee d'Orsay.

By Henri-Edmond Cross
A masterpiece of French painting,
in the Pointillist style.

The Large Bathers (1898-1905)
By Paul Cezanne.
Philadelphia Museum of Art.

For a list of the Top 10 painters/
sculptors: Best Artists of All Time.
For the best oils/watercolours,
see: Greatest Paintings Ever.

For a discussion of the types,
values, and significance of the
visual arts, see: Definition of Art.

For painters, since 1800, see:
Famous Painters (1830-1900)

Umbrella Term

Since 1910, Post-Impressionist painting has been accepted as the standard label for the work of a whole generation of artists in France who developed new modes of composition based on their dissatisfaction with Impressionism. Besides Fry's three central masters, the term has come to embrace all movements and groupings of independent artists in France between c.1880 and 1905. This includes Neo-Impressionism, the Nabis, Intimism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism, Fauvism, and the works of the Pont-Aven School in Brittany.

Top 50 Post-Impressionist Painters in France

Here is a short selected list of exponents of Post-Impressionism, who were active in France.

Louis Anquetin (1861-1932)
Innovatory Post-Impressionist artist who gave up naturalism to produce Cloisonnism; subjects included townscapes, nudes, cafe-cabaret scenes.

Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-84)
Noted for his series of portraits and genre scenes of peasants.

Jean Beraud (1849-1936)
Portraitist who gained fame as a recorder of social mores, before turning to realistic, modern religious paintings.

Emile Bernard (1868-1941)
Studied at the School of Decorative Arts. Later, mixed with Anquetin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Moved from Impressionism to Pointillism to Cloisonnism, settling on a form of Pictorial Symbolism exemplified by Gauguin's Vision After the Sermon.

Paul Albert Besnard (1849-1934)
Post-Impressionist painter noted for his exceptional portraiture and large-scale decorative paintings.

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
A member of the Nabis, committed to the applied arts (decorative panels, stained glass, furniture, book illustrations and prints) and influenced also by Japonism, he painted landscapes, genre scenes as well as numerous decorative works.

Georges Braque (1882-1963)
Experimented with Fauvism before inventing Cubism with Picasso.

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)
Specialized in painting women and children in interiors, and later prints, made from aquatint, dry-point and etching.

Jean Charles Cazin (1841-1901)
Ceramicist and figure painter, he turned increasingly to landscape pictures and biblical paintings.

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
One of the greatest Impressionist painters, after the group disbanded he continued his landscape and still-life painting from nature, but in addition he explored the order and arrangement of pictorial forms. This work has since been recognized as an important contributor to Cubism and other 20th century movements.

Paul Chabas (1869-1937)
Noted for his portraiture and especially his outdoor female nudes.

Charles Cottet (1863-1924)
His paintings chronicle Breton peasant life. Also known as the leader of a new school of 'dark' painting.

Henri Edmond Cross (1856-1910)
A pointillist, he painted landscapes and figure subjects whose idyllic mood reflected his Utopian Anarchist views.

Maurice Denis (1870-1943)
A founder member of the Nabis in 1888, he produced both easel and large scale decorative paintings, illustrations, prints, glass art, stage sets and costume designs.

Andre Derain (1880-1954)
One of the most famous Post-Impressionist artists, he evolved his Fauve style while working with Vlaminck in 1904-5, and with Matisse at Collioure in the summer of 1905. Much influenced in turn by Gauguin, Cezanne and primitive art.

Albert Dubois-Pillet (1846-90)
Moved from Naturalism to Impressionism to the adoption of the 'Petit-Point' (Pointillism).

Raoul Dufy (1877-1953)
Post-Impressionist painter, graphic artist and designer, noted for his scenes of pleasure, marked by rapid calligraphic-style drawing on backgrounds of bright, thinly washed colour. Also produced numerous fashion and stage designs, illustrations and murals.

Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
Best known for his portraits and flower pieces in a realist style, similar to the early works of Monet and Degas. A master of lithography who influenced Seurat and Redon.

Jean Louis Forain (1852-1931)
Caricaturist, illlustrator and graphic artist, he produced paintings of modern urban subjects (after Degas) and a later series of oils closer to Daumier.

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
One of the greatest Post-Impressionist painters, he invented a simplified non-naturalistic painting style - known as Synthetism - which emphasized decorative line and the use of flat patches of bright colour. Died in poverty in the South Seas, leaving behind a mountain of paintings, carvings, woodcuts, watercolours, lithographs and ceramics.

Vittore Grubicy De Dragon (1851-1920)
The art critic, gallery owner, and painter, Vittore Grubicy, was the founder and main disseminator of Italian Divisionism (c.1890-1907).

Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927)
Showed at most of the Impressionist exhibitions (1874-86). He was noted for his treatment of industrial themes, in particular his long sequence of working class areas along the Seine in the east of Paris.

Alfred Guillou (1844-1926)
Breton by birth, he made his reputation in the Salon with paintings of fishing activities along the coast of Brittany.

Paul Helleu (1859-1927)
A trained ceramicist, he studied fine art painting at the French Academy, gaining fame as a fashionable portraitist (in pastels and drypoint), and also for his landscapes and cityscapes.

Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941)
Russian colourist and expressionist painter who "saw Matisse through Russian eyes". Produced some exquisite female portraits. Also active in Munich. See also: Post-Impressionism in Germany (c.1880-1910).

Georges Lacombe (1868-1916)
A member of the Nabis he was influenced by Gauguin in both his paintings and his polychrome wood sculpture.


Gaston La Touche (1854-1913)
Best known for his supreme skills as a colourist, he produced easel paintings, pastels and large scale decorative paintings noted for their nostalgia.

William John Leech (1881-1968)
Irish painter and illustrator, noted as a strong colourist, being influenced by both the Impressionists, and Post-Impressionists. He joined the Breton artist colony at Concarneau, where he developed the bright rich colour palette which became his hallmark, and his understanding of sunlight and shadow.

Maximilien Luce (1858-1941)
Trained as a wood engraver, he learned painting from 'Carolus-Duran' and soon adopted Pointillism in his landscapes, figure scenes, and townscapes, as well as his signature pictures of Belgian mining districts.

Albert Maignan (1845-1908)
Initially a follower of the Barbizon School, he gave up landscapes to embark on a successful career as a history painter.

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)
Moved from a sombre form of landscape painting in the manner of Barbizon, to Impressionism and the work of Puvis de Chavannes. Turned to sculpture in the late 1890s due to failing eyesight.

Henri Martin (1860-1943)
A Neo-Impressionist he made his reputation as a decorative artist. The subject matter of his pictures was almost exclusively landscapes and contemporary rural life.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
One of the greatest Post-Impressionist painters, he emancipated colour from its traditional uses, revolutionizing 20th century art in the process. See, for instance, his influence on the Scottish Colourists (1904-30). An expressionist, without the violence of German expressionism, he became the undisputed leader of Fauvism. A sculptor and lover of ceramics, he later explored collages of gouache cut-outs.

Gustave Moreau (1826-98)
Symbolist painter best known for his pictures of classical, biblical subjects, in a technique derived from Leonardo, Mantegna and Delacroix. Although strictly speaking not a Post-Impressionist, he exerted an important influence on Matisse, Rouault, and other fauvists, and anticipated Surrealism.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944)
Norwegian painter whose simple forms and non-naturalistic colours owe much to Impressionism and its aftermath. Became one of the greatest exponents of Expressionism.

Roderic O'Conor (1860–1940)
The greatest of all Irish Post-Impressionists, he joined the artist community in the Breton village of Pont-Aven, where he painted with Paul Gauguin and others. Some of his 1890s paintings show clear traces of the colourism style which later became famous as Fauvism.

Walter Frederick Osborne (1859–1903)
One of the great Irish Post-Impressionists, he devoted two years to plein air painting in Brittany. His dark palette eventually gave way to brighter colours and he demonstrated an increasing interest in sunlight and shadow.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Negatively influenced by what he considered to be the prettifying tendencies of Impressionism, his monochrome Blue Period paintings illustrate the deeply felt expressionism of his youth.

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
After making his name as an Impressionist, he met Seurat and Signac and adopted their Pointillist technique in 1886-8. He also shared the Anarchist beliefs of most of the Neo-Impressionist group.

Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944)
Taught painting by Camille, his father; after 1885 he was influenced by Seurat and the Neo-Impressionists. In 1890 he moved to London where he mixed with the Arts and Crafts circle. He was a founder member of the Camden Town Group in 1911, the London Group in 1913 and the Monarro Group in 1919.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-98)
Noted for his monumental mural paintings, he became a precurssor of the Symbolist movement and the leading decorative artist in France at the end of the century.

Jean-Francois Raffaelli (1850-1924)
An exhibitor at the 1870 Salon, he turned to Realism in 1876 and Impressionism not long after. His subject matter gradually changed from working class figure subjects to landscapes and Parisian townscapes.

Paul Ranson (1862-1909)
Co-founder of Les Nabis he studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris, joining the circle of Bonnard, Vuillard and Roussel in 1889. Produced decorative panel paintings, tapestries, ceramics, illustrations and puppet-sets.

Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
Trained as an architect and then as a painter. After a mental breakdown he learned etching and engraving, but after 1879 he devoted himself to charcoal drawing, lithography and a few oils. After 1895 his paintings suddenly became full of vivid colours. An important precursor of Surrealism.

Alfred Philippe Roll (1846-1919)
He painted portraits, genre scenes, idealist figure-subjects and landscapes based on a deep study of nature.

Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
The greatest of the self-taught primitive painters, noted for his exotic jungle pictures and his hieratic "Egyptian-style" of draughtsmanship.

Ker-Xavier Roussel (1867-1944)
A member of the Nabis he was strongly influenced by the Intimism of Vuillard, whose sister he married in 1893. Later he turned to large scale decorative schemes and to classical subject matter.

Paul Serusier (1864-1927)
Founder and driving force behind the symbolist decorative art group Les Nabis, his revolutionary landscape The Talisman became their pictorial manifesto. A regular visitor to Brittany, he was a close friend of Gauguin.

Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
One of the most famous Post-Impressionist painters, he was the first painter to systematically study the theory of Divisionism - and his best-known for his masterpieces: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-6, Art Institute of Chicago), and Bathers at Asnieres (1884, National Gallery, London).

Paul Signac (1863-1935)
An expert on colour in painting and an Anarchist, he was mainly a landscape painter, although he painted occasionally major figure paintings before 1900. Became the leader of the Neo-Impressionists after Seurat's death, and greatly extended the brightness of Pointillism's palette. He was the first to coin the term "Divisionism" in his book From Eugene Delacroix to Neo-Impressionism, published in 1899.

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
Known as much for his experimental lithographs as for his paintings, he drew upon the local scenes of Montmartre for his night-club pictures and music hall scenes.

Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955)
Alcoholic illegitimate son of Renoir's model Suzanne Valadon and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, best known for his loose impastoed Paris cityscapes, notably his views of Montmartre. Best period was his "White Period" (c.1910-16)

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
One of the most influential Post-Impressionist painters, sfter moving to Paris he lightened his colour palette under the influence of Impressionism, before moving to Arles in Provence, where he developed the brilliant colours, agitated, brushwork and thick impasto of his ultimate style. Almost all his paintings were autobiographical. For later Dutch 'luminists' (Divisionists), see: Post-Impressionism in Holland (1880-1920).

Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)
Novelist, racing cyclist and artist, he turned to painting after seeing a Van Gogh exhibition in 1901. Self-taught but worked closely with Derain and other Fauvist painters; he turned later to more subdued colour under the influence of Cezanne, evolving the sombre expressive landscapes of his later years.

Edouard Vuillard (1869-1940)
A member of the Nabis and a close friend of Bonnard, he later developed his own style of Post-Impressionism - based on scenes from his mother's apartment in Paris - known as Intimism.

Other Post-Impressionists

P.S. Kroyer (1851-1909)
Norwegian post-Impressionist landscape artist, leader of Skagen artists.

Walter Sickert (1860-1942)
British Post-Impressionist, leader of Camden Town Group & London Group.

Vilhelm Hammershoi (1864-1916)
Danish Intimist-style "interiors" genre-painter.

• For more about Post-Impressionism in Europe, see: Homepage.

© All rights reserved.