On many occasions when talking about the post-impressionist trend of Pointillism it is also called Divisionism. But if we speak properly, Pointillism would be the style of Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and other French artists, while Divisionism would be the Italian version of that style.
Segatini Spring Grasses
As such, it emerged at the First Triennial Exhibition in Milan in 1891, and was a revolutionary way of understanding color for Italian artists. It was painters like Gaetano Prevati or Giovanni Segantini who paved this way. And of the latter we show here his paintingSpring Pasturesmade around 1896 and which today hangs in thePinacoteca di Brera in Milan.
These two painters would later be followed by others such as Pellizza de Volpedo, Lognoni or Morbelli. And even the futurists Boccioni, Balla or Severini took their first steps in painting in this style.
The essence of this trend was to divide the colors and then combine them. In this way it was possible to capture the light better, and even increased the luminosity, or as they said: "the air runs between the figures".
Divisionism is technically characterized by the proximity of “decomposed” colors, extended in points applied by means ofspots of variable sizes. These spots are joined by the viewer's eye if it is located at the right distance, and not only that, but they end up getting confused and giving off an exceptional glow. All very similar to French Pointillism, but in Italy the truth is that it is done in a much less scientific way. That leads to each artist having her own style
More than the artists, it should be considered that the great promoter of this Italian current was the gallery owner Vittore Gribucy, who was the one who convinced Segantinito experiment with color splitting. Something that this artist would come to dominate, as can be seen in works like the one shown here.
As a technical basis, he uses a filamentary brushstroke with which he defines the shapes and reproduces the lighting effects, in his case, always very intense and vibrant. And certainly, Segantini was a true master of color and to appreciate it, it is enough to look at the grass of the meadow, where from close to the painting you can see innumerable nuances in his brushstrokes of green and yellow.
But color and its domain are nothing more than the tool, as well as the theories about its decomposition, since the important thing is the final result where he chooses to paint scenes full of lyricism and stillness, and where there are usually a symbolist atmosphere, very typical of this period in all European painting.