NATURALISM
A style of painting which uses an analysis of tone (value) and color of its subject, resulting in a representation of the appearance of forms or landscapes. Impressionism has naturalistic tendencies, because it analyzes tone and color in the play of light on surfaces. Naturalism can also have a sensual character (as against composition and drawing). The Impressionists were influenced by 19th century researches into the physics of color by Chevreul (a scientist) and others, which showed that an object casts a shadow which contains its complementary color (see complementary color). This theory eventually hardened into Neo-Impressionism, where Seurat and others sought the maximum optical truth about nature and the ideal composition and color relationships. This line of inquiry also led eventually to Post-Impressionism, where Gauguin and Van Gogh, among others, used color in a purely artistic and anti-naturalistic manner, which was non-intellectual. (Color used by Gauguin and Van Gogh is often deliberately independent of the local or light-influenced color of objects; and beyond that in the early 20th century, the Fauve painters used bright color and forms even more distant from their perceptual origins.)
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