Georges Seurat

Paintings by Georges Seurat

Georges Seurat was a French painter born in Paris. Georges Seurat studied at the École des Beaux-Arts (1878-9) where he was a model academic student. Early drawings show a complete absorption of Ingres's classical discipline and his careful preparation in sketches and colour studies for each of his 7 large paintings was thoroughly traditional. His successive investigations of form, colour and line were part of a lifelong search for a sense of order in painting.

Most of his early independent works were conté drawings reflecting Millet in subject, in which a monumentality of form was realized by gradual tonal gradation.

His Baignade (1883-4) shows the simplicity of his early works enforced by the carefully calculated composition and by a palette of primary colours. His study of colour was based not on the empirical observation of the Impressionists, but on research into the writings of Chevreul, Blanc, Superville and Delacroix. In his theory of Divisionism (later called Neo-Impressionism) each local colour is composed of tiny particles of pure colour which not only represent the colour of the object, but also the colour of light, reflected local colours and complementaries. These are blended at a distance by the eye. The purest example of this is Un Dimanche d'été à l'Île de la Grande Jatte (1884-6). 

Georges Seurat

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