Besides the landscape, the local population proved to be a rich source of inspiration. With the painters came friends from many disciplines; writers, poets, composers, representatives of the music- and theatre-world and, in their wake, art critics and art collectors. The artists’ colony became a meeting-place for them. In some cases, a community with an
idealistic purpose developed. After the new phenomena were written about, the colonies began to attract so many tourists that they lost their original charm as an artists’ colony.
After the First World War most artists’ colonies of the old style had come to an end. Art in those days was in pursuit of a different approach. The open-air painting of the landscape and the portraiture of farmer’s life had lost their attraction. More and more the painters drew the basic forms of the human spiritual life into their art.
The basis for that renewal of art, however, was firmly rooted in the artists’ colonies. They renovated European and international art as forerunners and pioneers of Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism, Pointillism, Divisionism, Fauvism, Surrealism and Expressionism. The
artists who worked in them often took home new ideas and undreamt of possibilities and spread these there.