Let’s Be Friends: Relationships among the Neo-Impressionists

The Phillips Collection Blog

Experiment Station


Fri, 31 Oct 2014

Let’s Be Friends: Relationships among the Neo-Impressionists

by Experiment Station
This Sunday's panel about the artistic friendships and rivalries between the Neo-Impressionists and other artists at the time inspired me to look deeper at the relationships among the artists in the Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities. Strong bonds existed between members of Les Vingt (XX) in Belgium and artists in the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris. For instance, Theo van Rysselberghe and Paul Signac were very close friends, and Rysselberghe would frequently visit Signac at his home in St. Tropez. Their time together at the seaside was spent sailing as well as discussing and creating art. Others, including Henri-Edmond Cross and Emile Verhaeren, would occasionally join the two on these trips. In Paris, multiple artists from the Neo-Impressionist movement would live together for periods of time or share studio space. This is the type of environment in which Signac would host weekly social gatherings, where painters, poets, critics and musicians could come together and share ideas. The personal relationships that these artists had helps to explain the some of the similarities in their works from that time, and reinforce the connection between them.