Celebrating Georges Seurat on his 162nd Birthday
“A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat depicts various Parisians from the city relaxing at leisure on a green embankment by the River Seine. It was painted from 1884 to 1886 and is Seurat’s most famous work. It is a founding work of the neo-impressionist movement.
We are particularly fond of the brown dog in this famous piece of art.
Seurat grew up in Paris, France. His parents were wealthy allowing him to focus on his art. He was a quiet and intelligent child who kept to himself. Georges attended the School of Fine Arts in Paris starting in 1878. He also had to serve a year in the military. Upon his return to Paris he continued to refine his art skills. He spent the next two years drawing in black and white.
In 1884 Georges Seurat began to work on his masterpiece. He would use pointillism to paint a huge painting called Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It would be 6 feet 10 inches tall by 10 feet 1 inches wide, but would be painted entirely with small dots of pure color. The painting was so complex that it took him nearly two years of non-stop work to finish. Each morning he would go to the scene and make sketches. Then in the afternoon he would return to his studio to paint until late at night. He kept the painting a secret, not wanting anyone to know what he was doing.