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Synthetism
(Encyclopedia Britannica)

   
 

 In art, method of painting evolved by Gauguin Paul , Bernard Emile, Anquetin Louis, Maurin Charles and others in the 1880s to emphasize two-dimensional flat patterns, thus breaking with Impressionist art and theory. The styleshows a conscious effort to work less directly from nature and to rely more upon memory.

It was Gauguin who used the word Synthetism, by which hemeant a style of art in which the form (colour planes and lines) is synthesized with the major idea or feeling of the subject. Although he had exhibited with the Impressionists until 1886, he did not share their disregard for defined forms or compositional elements. He felt that their preoccupation with the study of light effects in nature was confining, superficial, and neglectful of thought and ideas. He sought todevelop a new decorative style in art based on areas of pure colour (e.g., without shaded areas or modeling), a few strong lines, and an almost two-dimensional arrangement of parts. He spent the summers of 1886 and 1888 in Pont-Aven and Le Pouldu, Brittany, France, with Bernard and other disciples, where he founded the Synthetist group. An example of this new decorative style is Gauguin's “Vision After the Sermon” (1888; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh). This large work includes peasant women leaving the church in thelower part of the canvas; above them is the vision of Jacob wrestling with the angel, which was the sermon of the day. Gauguin attempts to combine in one setting two levels of reality, the everyday world and the dream world. The lower figures are reduced to areas of flat patterns, without modeling or perspective. The large colour areas are intense and without shadows. The design is so strong that the two realities fuse into one visual experience.

Bernard and Anquetin used the name Cloisonnism to describe their painting method, equating the design effect oflarge areas of pure colour and wide black outlines to the medieval cloisonné enamel technique. In addition to his interest in medieval art, Bernard enjoyed Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) and the art of primitive cultures. Synthetism was to influence the Nabis, a group of artists in the next decade, and, for a while, the work of Vincent van Gogh.


Cloisonne
in the decorative arts, an enameling technique or any product of that technique, which consists of soldering toa metal surface delicate metal strips bent to the outline of a design and filling the resulting cellular spaces, called cloisons (French: “partitions,” or “compartments”), with vitreous enamel paste. The object then is fired, ground smooth, and polished. Sometimes metal wire is used in place of the usual gold, brass,silver, or copper strips.

Among the earliest examples of cloisonné are six Mycenaean rings of the 13th century BC. The great Western period of cloisonné enameling was from the 10th to the 12th century, especially in the Byzantine Empire. In China cloisonné was widely produced during the Ming (1368–1644) and Ch'ing (1644–1911/12) dynasties. In Japan, it was especially popular during the Tokugawa (1603–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods.

 

   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
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