from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A method of painting in which luminosity is produced by laying on the colors in points or dots which are blended by the eye, invented by French impressionists; a form of impressionism.
Georges Seurat and Paul Signac took the style of tiny brushstrokes, neatened it up into a more rigorous 'pointillism' and used the result to make clean, classical-seeming paintings whose direct influence lasted right up to Paul Klee.
His pointillism, his reduction of 'eminent Victorians' to a series of images that fixed them firmly in the popular imagination, rescued biography from its 19th-century imprisonment inside its subjects' own words.
This word comes from the French ‘pointiller,’ to paint small dots.