"Painting is the art of hollowing a surface."


Seurat, Georges (1859-1891) was a French painter, founder of the 19th-century French school of Neo-Impressionism whose technique for portraying the play of light using tiny brushstrokes of contrasting colors became known as Pointillism

  Seurat studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1878 and 1879. His teacher was a disciple of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Young Seurat was strongly influenced by Rembrandt and Francisco de Goya.

After a year of military service at Brest, Seurat exhibited his drawing "Aman-Jean" at the official Salon in 1883. Panels from his painting "Bathing at Asnieres" were refused by the Salon the next year, so Seurat and several other artists founded the Societe des Artistes Independants. His famous canvas "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte" was the centerpiece of an exhibition in 1886. By then Seurat was spending his winters in Paris, drawing and producing one large painting each year, and his summers on France's northern coast. In his short life Seurat produced seven monumental paintings, 60 smaller ones, drawings, and sketchbooks. He kept his private life very secret, and not until his sudden death in Paris on March 29, 1891, did his friends learn of his mistress, who was the model for his painting "Young Woman Holding a Powder Puff" (1890).

Georges Seurat is the ultimate example of the artist as scientist. He spent his life studying color theories and the effects of different linear structures. His 500 drawings alone establish Seurat as a great master, but he will be remembered for his technique called pointillism, or divisionism. Using this technique, he created huge compositions with tiny, detached strokes of pure color too small to be distinguished when looking at the entire work but making his paintings shimmer with brilliance.


"Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" (1884-86) Oil on canvas, 207.5 x 308 cm - 81 x 120 in. Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA.

"Young Woman Powdering Herself" (1890) Oil on canvas, 95.5 x 79.5 cm - 37 1/2 x 31 1/4 in. Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK.

"Bathing at Asnières" (1883-84, retouched in 1887) Oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm - 79 x 118 1/2 in. National Gallery, London, UK.

"The Circus" (1891) Oil on canvas, 185 x 150 cm - 73 x 59 1/8 in. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.

"Le Bec du Hoc, Grandcamp" (1885) Oil on canvas, 66 x 82.5 cm - 26 x 32 1/2 in. Tate Gallery, London, UK.

"Le chahut" (1889-90) Oil on canvas, 167.76 x 141 cm - 66 1/8 x 55 1/2 in. Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo, The Nederlands.

"View of Fort Samson, Grandcamp" (1885) Oil on canvas, 64.12 x 81.3 cm - 25 5/8 x 32 in. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

"Vase of Flowers" (circa 1878-79) Oil on canvas, 45.09 x 37.47 cm - 17.8 x 14.8 in.

Text source: 'Webmuseum' (

Related Artists:


Related Terms: Neo-Impressionism, Pointillism, Optical Mix.


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