( 1861-1944). French writer and art critic. He was a friend of Seurat and Signac, and became the spokesman of Neo-Impressionism setting out its basic principles in a kind of pamphlet under the title of The Impressionists in 1866, which was a great success. Using the scientific theories of Chevreul, Sutter, Charles Henry and Edouard Rood, Fénéon explained the Neo-Impressionist methods, and did so with a warmth and conviction that earned him considerable support. Although he railed against Gauguin, and criticized (though not without respect) Monet, Degas and Renoir for not having systematically applied the principle of division of colour, he adopted a milder attitude toward Pissaro, who had allowed himself to be for a while attracted by Divisionism, and championed Seurat, Signac, Cross and their friends unreservedly. In his eagerness to support the new school, Fénéon went so far as to organize, in 1900, an important Seurat retrospective (which ha remained famous in the annals of painting) in the premises of the Revue Blanche, of which he was, at the time, one of the secretaries. Furthermore, faithful to his friend's memory, he took it upon himself, after Seurat's death, to compile a thorough and precise catalogue of his works.
Although he loved order and logic, he was never at any time insensitive to the painting of young artists, such as Vuillard or Bonnard, whom he got to know in 1891, and with great perspicacity he supported the Nabi movement from its inception. He was an ardent admirer of Toulouse-Lautrec, who depicted his curious silhouette in The Dance of La Goulue and the Almehs, which he executed in 1895 for the dancer's at the Foire du Trône. There are numerous portraits of Fénéon, but the most symbolical is the one Signac left, with a title that must have enchanted Fénéon himself, Sur l'émail, d'un fond rythmique de mesures et d'angles, de tons et de teintes, portrait de m. Félix Fénéon en 1890. (On enamel, with a rhythmic background of measurements and angles, tones and tints, portrait of Mr Félix Fénéon in 1890.)