Postimpressionism is an art-historical term coined by British art critic Roger Fry to describe the various styles of painting that flourished(klestėti) in France during the period from about 1880 to about 1910. Generally, the term is used as a convenient chronological umbrella covering the generation of artists who sought(ieškoti) new forms of expression in the wake of the pictorial(tapyba) revolution worked by Impressionism. Among the principal figures in this group were Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh. It was mainly still lifes and landscapes. The postimpressionists liked to use lots of colors and shadows.Although their individual styles differed profoundly(giliai), all of these artists moved away from the aesthetic(estetinis) program of impressionism and, in particular, from the impressionists’ emphasis on depicting(pavaizduoti) a narrow spectrum of visual reality. It would be a mistake to view the postimpressionists as simply rejecting their impressionist heritage; rather, they accepted the revolutionary impact(smūgis) of impressionism and went on to explore new aesthetic ideas, many of which grew out of concepts implicit(numanomas) in impressionism. Another connecting link between most of the postimpressionists was a common emphasis on surface pattern, a trait that led many contemporary critics to use the term decorative to describe postimpressionist pictures. Aside from a general dissatisfaction with impressionism and a widely shared interest in surface pattern, however, the postimpressionists displayed few stylistic or thematic similarities. Cezanne had belonged to the impressionist movement, but he withdrew(pasitraukti) from it because he wanted to create a style that he described as more “solid and durable(patvarus).” Working in isolation in Aix-en-Provence during the 1880s and ’90s, he evolved a new concept of space that was of fundamental importance to 20th-century painting. This highly individual art, which was to be greatly admired by the next generation of painters, laid the groundwork for the creation of Cubism by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

The art of Gauguin and van Gogh, however, reflected a more emotional and involved highly charged colors and a rhythmical patterning of lines across the surface of a picture. Like Cezanne, both Gauguin and van Gogh abandoned the impressionist movement, but unlike their fellow postimpressionists, they directed their talents toward elaborating(detaliai) on the flat decorative patterns they first encountered(sutiktas) in Japanese prints. Whereas Cezanne rejected the impressionist vision of reality, Gauguin spoke of the fundamental fallacy(klaidingas) of naturalism and of impressionism, blaming the latter style for seeking “around the eye and not in the mysterious center of thought.” In an extreme effort to shake off the past, Gauguin sought what he viewed as the universal truths implicit in the so-called primitive art of the South Seas. Van Gogh also searched for elemental truth, but he did so in the inner world of the psyche(siela). Gauguin’s work led directly to Fauvism, and van Gogh’s to Expressionism. Finally, the other-worldliness of the postimpressionist symbolists, such as Redon, together with the distorted lines of Art Nouveau in the works of Toulouse-Lautrec and other contemporaries, fostered a growing tendency toward abstract art that was to prove essential to nonfigurative developments in painting after 1910. Although in the strict sense it cannot be called a movement, the postimpressionist period did provide a vital and creative link between the impressionist revolution and the founding of all the subsequent major art movements of the 20th century.