Theo Van Rysselberghe was a Belgian painter, sculptor, and designer who, together with Henry van de Velde, headed the large rank of Belgian artists that adhered to Neo-Impressionism.
Theo Van Rysselberghe was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1862. His quick intellect, passionate and innovative art style, captivated collectors and critics alike. The conviction with which he related his thoughts on painting and art charmed his fellow artists. He co-founded and played an active role in “XX”, a collective of militant avant-garde artists. Inspired by his friendship with Georges Seurat, Van Rysselberghe began experimenting with divisionism and adopted a pointillist style. This distinctive style of painting is characterized by a methodical and scientific technique known as pointillism or divisionism. Pointillism painters juxtaposed small dots of pure color together to maximize luminosity. The dots appeared to intermingle and blend in the spectator's eye. During this period he created his greatest masterpieces. Van Rysselberghe’s striking paintings demonstrate his ability to capture the effects of sunlight on the composition. Upon the death of his great mentor, Seurat, he discarded the pointillist technique and switched to a looser more realistic style.
Pointillist master Paul Signac, Theo Van Rysselberghe college and friend stated "Art is a creation of a higher order than a copy of nature which is governed by chance.... By the elimination of all muddy colors, by the exclusive use of optical mixture of pure colors, by a methodical divisionism and a strict observation of the scientific theory of colors, the neo-impressionists insures a maximum of luminosity, of color intensity, and of harmony- a result that has never yet been obtained."