A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande By Jatte Georges Seurat
The Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is both the best-known and most famous painting Georges Seurat ever imagined on a canvas. A Sunday Afternoon as a famous painting depicts people relaxing in a suburban park on an island in the Seine River called La Grande Jatte, a stylish retreat for the middle and upper class of Paris in the 19th century. This fine art was produced on a large canvas painted in 1884, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte unveils everything enchanting about Seurat’s environment – it’s fascinating and difficult, sunlit and shadowed, quiet and glamorous. When Georges Seurat painted A Sunday Afternoon, he was only 25-year-old and had only seven more years to live.
Georges Seurat was an enthusiastic man and had a scientific theory to establish his own style of fine art, something completely different for the aristocracy of the modern art world. Seurat’s approach to fine arts was a visual approach. Seurat had the confidence that fine art using dots could be produced using brilliant colors. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is one of those unique masterpieces, where a single artwork is able to stand out. A Sunday Afternoon is instinctively recognized as one of the most famous works of fine art. What makes this famous painting even more uncommon and perplexing is that the subject of the work is not one person or some intense emotion or a serious story.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was famously painted in two assemblies, the first between May 1884 and March 1885, and the second from October 1885 to May 1886. Seurat maintained that he sat in the park for hours upon hours, imagining various forms of figures in order to perfect his craft before beginning the actual composition. Seurat later added tiny dots that seem as dense and bright when seen from a great distance. Proving his fine art style, and revealing that using tiny juxtaposed points of multi-colored paint certainly can provide beauty to the artwork and allows the viewer to combine colors optically. Georges Seurat focused fundamentally on matters of color, light, and patterns.
Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was one of the stand-out works in the eighth and last Impressionist exhibition in 1884. When A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was shown at the Sociéte des Artistes Indépendents during the same year, it inspired critic Félix Fénéon to create the name Neo-Impressionism, a word that ultimately became the name of one of the greatest movements in modern art.
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (Ready to Hang).
A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte Meaning
In 1881, after studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, followed by a short spell of military service, Seurat opened a small painter's studio in Paris while continuing his studies on the tonal effects of color, with a series of Conte crayon drawings. He was determined to develop an intellectual style of painting that would open up new possibilities for art. The technique he settled on - later nicknamed 'Pointillism' by the art critic Felix Feneon (1861-1944) - involved the use of small touches of pure color, which are not mixed but placed side by side on the canvas. When viewed from a certain distance, these touches of color blend together. In effect, the color pigments are mixed together by the eye, rather than by the artist. The whole idea is to make the colors more luminous and shimmering than they would be if mixed on the palette.
The essential meaning of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is far from clear. However, art critics believe that it should be interpreted in comparison to its sister work Bathers at Asnieres. They believe that 'La Jatte' represents the French bourgeoisie, a decaying class that has fallen victim to lust and vice, and which is now in the shadows. In contrast, the sun is shining on the working class bathers of Asnieres, who represent the bright future of France.
A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte Symbolism
The painting depicts fashionable Parisians enjoying a Sunday afternoon at a popular beauty spot located on the River Seine between Neuilly and Levallois-Perret. While his earlier Bathers at Asnieres depicted the working-class left-bank of the river, this work shows the bourgeois right-bank at La Grande Jatte. Thus, for instance, in contrast to the unremitting heat of Asnieres, La Grande Jatte has plenty of cool shade in which to escape the sun.
The canvas is crowded with some forty stereotypical Parisian figures, shown full-face or in profile. Carefully arranged in static groups across the picture, they appear uncommunicative and frozen in time, adding to the dreamlike quality of the painting. Featuring men, women, and children of all ages, Seurat's figures also include several with symbolic meaning. A well-dressed woman (extreme left) holds a fishing pole, alluding to the 'fishing' conducted by the bourgeois prostitutes of the area. The standing lady (foreground, extreme right) has a fashionable capuchin monkey as a pet. This identifies her as another prostitute (this time with a client), since the French word for 'female monkey' (singesse), was also slang for a woman of loose morals. A small girl dressed in white stares out at the viewer from the center of the composition, as if to ask "what will happen to all these contented members of the bourgeoisie?" As well as these allusions to the social and political content of the picture, Seurat also includes a dash of patriotism: a boat is shown flying the French national flag, and two soldiers stand at attention as a musician plays (presumably) the national anthem.
Frequently asked questions about A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte:
Why is A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte famous?
The oil-on-canvas painting is known as one of the Seurat's best works and showed the painter's use of color and dots to create optical effects and perception.
When was a Sunday afternoon painting?
How much is A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte worth?
Georges Seurat's "Island of the Grand Jatte" (1884) sold for $35.2 million, including commissions
How long did it take George Seurat to paint Sunday in the Park?
It took Seurat more than two years to complete. This complicated masterpiece of Pointillism began in 1884 with a series of almost 60 sketches Seurat made while people-watching at the Paris park. Next, he started painting, using small horizontal brush strokes.
What is the style of a Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte?
Pointillism and Neo-impressionism
How big is Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte?
6′ 10″ x 10′ 1″
Georges Seurat Biography
Georges Seurat was born on December 2, 1859, in Paris. In 1875 he attended the municipal school of sculptor Justin Lequien. From March 1878 to November 1879 he was enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. After a year of military service on the Breton coast, Seurat returned to Paris. From the late 1870s, his interest in current scientific theories about color perception and chromatics grew, and by 1881, he had studied Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors (1839) by Michel-Eugène Chevreul and treatises by Charles Blank, Thomas Couture, Ogden N. Rood, and David Sutter.
A portrait drawing by Seurat was selected for the 1883 Salon. In 1884 after being rejected by the Salon, he, with Henri-Edmond Cross, Maximilian Luce, Odilon Redon, and Paul Signac, founded the Salon des Indépendants. With Cross and Signac, Seurat developed Divisionism (the term he preferred to Pointillism), breaking down colors into their constituent hues and applying them side by side on canvas. In Seurat's method, which he also called Peinture Optique, colors placed next to each other were intended to mix in the eye of the viewer and approximate the quality of natural light. In 1886 Seurat met mathematician and scientist Charles Henry. Vocal in his ideas about the interconnections between aesthetics and science, Henry influenced Seurat’s desire to logically control color and space and his later attempts to find methodical, scientific means of composition.
Georges Seurat Paintings
Seurat's first major work was "Bathers at Asnières," dated 1884, a large-scale canvas showing a scene of laborers relaxing alongside a river outside Paris. "Bathers" was followed by "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" (1884-86), an even larger work depicting middle-class Parisians strolling and resting in an island park on the Seine River. (This painting was first exhibited in the Eighth Impressionist Exhibition in 1886.) In both works, Seurat tried to give modern-day figures a sense of significance and permanence by simplifying their forms and limiting their details; at the same time, his experimental brushwork and color combinations kept the scenes vivid and engaging.
Seurat painted female subjects in "The Models" of 1887-88 and "Young Woman Powdering Herself" of 1888-89. In the late 1880s, he created several scenes of circuses and nightlife, including "Circus Sideshow" (1887-88), "Le Chahut" (1889-90) and "The Circus" (1890-91). He also produced a number of seascapes of the Normandy coast, as well as a number of masterful black-and-white drawings in Conté crayon (a mix of wax and graphite or charcoal).
Georges Seurat Death and Legacy
Seurat's paintings and artistic theories influenced many of his contemporaries, from Paul Signac to Vincent van Gogh to Symbolist artists. His monumental "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," now at the Art Institute of Chicago, is considered an iconic work of late 19th-century art. This painting and Seurat's career inspired Steven Sondheim to write the musical Sunday in the Park with George (1984). The work is also featured in the John Hughes film Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). Seurat died on March 29, 1891, in Paris, after a brief illness that was most likely pneumonia or meningitis. He was buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. He was survived by his common-law wife, Madeleine Knobloch; their son, Pierre-Georges Seurat, died a month later.
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