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Interesting Facts About Georges Seurat
Dawit Abeza
Interesting Facts About Georges Seurat

Interesting Facts About Georges Seurat

Why is Georges Seurat important?

Seurat is considered one of the most important Post-Impressionist painters. He moved away from the apparent spontaneity and rapidity of Impressionism and developed a structured, more monumental art to depict modern urban life. 

What is Georges Seurat famous for?

Georges Seurat, was the 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.

When was Georges Seurat born?

Georges Seurat was born on December 2, 1859, in Paris, France.

How did Georges Seurat paint?

In the mid-1880s, Seurat developed a style of painting that came to be called Divisionism or Pointillism. Rather than blending colors together on his palette, he dabbed tiny strokes or "points" of pure color onto the canvas.

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His works were initially criticized

Seurat's groundbreaking method has gotten a lot of attention and has sparked a lot of debate. The audience was taken aback by the painter's use of a plethora of colored, nearby dots. Some detractors mocked Seurat's rigid figures, which were incorrectly equated to Egyptian soldiers, despite the fact that they were designed to be connected with Egyptian figures.

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He returned to Paris after a year at the Military Academy of Brest

In addition to sharing a flat with his buddy Aman-Jean, he rented a tiny apartment at 16 rue de Chabrol. He spent the following two years perfecting the skill of monochrome drawing. A Conté crayon drawing of Aman-Jean was his first displayed piece, which was shown at the Salon in 1883.

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A fire at the Museum of Modern Art nearly destroyed Seurat's masterpiece

Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte was on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the spring of 1958. Technicians working on the second story had a smoke break on April 15, which escalated into a huge fire. Five artworks in the museum were destroyed, notably two of Claude Monet's Water Lillies, and one of the technicians was tragically killed.

After a close call, Seurat's masterwork was saved and safely relocated to the Whitney Museum of American Art next door. It is now permanently housed at Chicago's Art Institute. Some of Seurat's work is on display at MoMa, and the burned Monets have been replaced by another one of his paintings within the same theme. Because Seurat lived such a brief life, art admirers all throughout the world are delighted that the artwork has survived.

It took him nearly two years to complete Sunday on the island of La Grande Jatte

He would go to the scene every morning and sketch. Then he'd go back to his studio in the afternoon and paint till late at night. He maintained the painting under wraps since he didn't want someone to know what he was up to.

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He went to the Ecole Municipale de Sculpture et Dessin to study art

He completed his education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he studied under Henri Lehmann, a well-known portraitist.

The Societe des Artistes Independants was founded in 1884 by him and other painters, including Maximilien Luce

He encountered and befriended artist Paul Signac when he was there. Seurat shared his fresh pointillism ideas with Signac, who went on to paint in the same style. Seurat started work on his masterpiece, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, in the summer of 1884.

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Seurat was motivated by the desire to move away from Impressionism

Nonetheless, he inherited many of his techniques from Impressionism, from his appreciation of contemporary subject matter and themes of urban idleness to his aim to represent all of the colors that collaborated to generate the look of represented items rather than just the 'local', or apparent, hue.

A variety of scientific theories involving color, form, and expression captivated Seurat

He considered that lines that curved in a specific direction, as well as colors of a specific warmth or coolness, might have specific creative effects. He also investigated the idea that contrasting or complimentary colors can visually blend to produce significantly more vibrant tones than combining paint alone.

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Seurat kept his romance with Madeleine Knobloch a secret

In his artwork Jeune femme se poudrant, an artist's model is represented by Madeleine.  She moved in with Seurat on the seventh floor of 128 bis Boulevard de Clichy in 1889. The two moved to a studio at 39 passage de l'Élysée-des-Beaux-Arts (now rue André Antoine) when Madeleine got pregnant. On the 16th of February 1890, she gave birth to a child, Pierre-Georges.

Seurat died at an early age

Seurat died at the age of 31 from an illness, most likely pneumonia, meningitis, diphtheria, or infectious angina, although the actual cause of death is unknown. Then, to make matters worse, his kid acquired the same sickness and died two weeks later. His brief life and even briefer career left us with significantly fewer works than several other great artists of his day — only seven comprehensive paintings and roughly 40 lesser ones.

He did, however, finish hundreds of sketches and drawings. Seurat displayed his last painting, The Circus, even though it wasn't finished, perhaps because he knew his time was coming to an end. Despite his short life, Seurat was able to question the way painters painted, create one of the most iconic paintings of the nineteenth century, and communicate a view on color theory including the use of light that'd forever influence the art world.

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