The -Isms of Art

Lesson Title: The -Isms of Art (3 of 5): Post-Impressionism
Academic Standards: National Core Arts Standards (Creating): Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. National Core Arts Standards (Responding): Anchor Standard #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work. National Core Arts Standards (Connecting): Anchor Standard #11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
Content Creator: Ms. Beth Bachuss
Level: High School
Duration: 45-55 min
  /  The -Isms of Art (3 of 5): Post-Impressionism


  • Students will understand the difference between the two categories of Post-Impressionists
  • Students will understand the theory of optical color mixing used by Seurat
  • Students will examine works by Cezanne and understand his use of formal elements to create art
  • Students will compare works by the expressive Post-Impressionists
  • Students will examine works by:
    • Seurat
    • Cezanne
    • Toulouse-Lautrec
    • Gaugin
    • van Gogh
  • Students will review how these works were created while using these methods in the art studio


After an introduction and confirmation that the students are comfortable moving about in VR, we will discuss artists’ reactions to Impressionism and the two categories of Post-Impressionists. We will look at works by these artists and discuss how they were influenced by scientific discoveries about color, formal art elements, and emotional use of line and color. We will conclude the session with a trip to the art studio, where we will experiment with Post-Impressionist mark making while creating digital paintings.


  1. Introduction
  2. VR locomotion
  3. Two categories of Post-Impressionist art
  4. Scientific Design
  5. Formal Design
  6. Expressive
  7. Review
  8. Art Studio field trip and hands-on activity

Suggested Ancillary Support

The Annotated Mona Lisa, Strickland, 2007

Art History for Dummies, Wilder, 2007

Isms:  Understanding Art, Little, 2004

Isms:  Understanding Modern Art, Phillips, 2013


The Art Book, DK, 2017