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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ In arguing for pointillism, he quoted the scientific treatises consulted by Seurat and even printed mathematical equations.
▪ In its slightly earlier day, pointillism had also had a progressive artistic programme.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Neoimpressionism \Ne`o*im*pres"sion*ism\ (n[=e]`[-o]*[i^]m*pr[e^]sh"[u^]n*[i^]z'm), n. (Painting) A theory or practice which is a further development, on more rigorously scientific lines, of the theory and practice of Impressionism, originated by George Seurat (1859-91), and carried on by Paul Signac (1863- -) and others. Its method is marked by the laying of pure primary colors in minute dots upon a white ground, any given line being produced by a variation in the proportionate quantity of the primary colors employed. This method is also known as Pointillism (stippling).

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1901, from French pointillisme, from pointiller "to cover with pointilles," small dots, plural diminutive of point (see point (n.)). Pointillist is attested from 1891, from French pointilliste.


n. In art, the use of small areas of color to construct an image.


n. a school of painters who used a technique of painting with tiny dots of pure colors that would blend in the viewer's eye; developed by Georges Seurat and his followers late in 19th century France


Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. The term "Pointillism" was first coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists, and is now used without its earlier mocking connotation. The movement Seurat began with this technique is known as Neo-Impressionism. The Divisionists, too, used a similar technique of patterns to form images, though with larger cube-like brushstrokes.

Usage examples of "pointillism".

Entirely new ways of combining textiles and dyes, ideas as eye-opening as pointillism or cubism or scintillism were in their day.

One must use broad strokes, filled in here and there with a bit of pointillism, to suggest the probable pattern of events.

Their magnificent cave paintings of picnicking Poznaks, meticulously stippled in the red sticky sweat of hippopotami, anticipated the pointillism of Georges Seurat by thousands of years.

Stencil thought of Mondaugen's story, The Crew at Foppl's, saw here the same leprous pointillism of orris root, weak jaws and bloodshot eyes, tongues and backs of teeth stained purple by this morning's homemade wine, lipstick which it seemed could be peeled off intact, tossed to the earth to join a trail of similar jetsam - the disembodied smiles or pouts which might serve, perhaps, as spoor for next generation's Crew .