Georges seurat


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Georges seurat

  1. 1. GEORGES SEURAT THE LIFE OF GEORGES SEURATSeurat was born into a wealthy family in Paris, France. Hisfather, Antoine Chrysostome Seurat, was a legal official and anative of Champagne; his mother, Ernestine Faivre, wasParisian.Georges Seurat first studied art with Justin Lequien,a sculptor. Seurat attended the École des Beaux-Arts in 1878and 1879. After a year of service at Brest Military Academy,he returned to Paris in 1880. He shared a small studio onthe Left Bank with two student friends before moving toa studio of his own. For the next two years he worked atmastering the art of black-and-white drawing. He spent 1883on his first major painting and a huge canvas titled Bathers atAsnières. MEETING OTHER ARTISTS
  2. 2. As his painting was rejected by the Paris Salon, Seurat turned away from such establishments, instead allying with the independent artists of Paris. In 1884 he and other artists (includingMaximilien Luce) formed the Société des Artistes Indépendants. There he met and befriended fellow artist Paul Signac. Seurat shared his new ideas about pointillism with Signac, who subsequently painted in the same idiom. In the summer of 1884, Seurat began work on his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, which took him two years to complete.4MARRIED LIFE OF GEORGES SEURAT Later he moved from the Boulevard de Clichy to a quieter studio nearby, where he lived secretly with a young model, Madeleine Knobloch, whom he portrayed in his painting "Jeune femme se poudrant". In February 1890 she gave birth to their son, who was named Pierre Georges.DEATH OF GEORGES SEURAT Seurat died in Paris on 29 March 1891 at the age of 31. The cause of Seurats death is uncertain, and has been attributed to a form of meningitis, pneumonia, infectious
  3. 3. angina, and/or (most probably) diphtheria. His son died two weeks later from the same disease. His last ambitious work, The Circus, was left unfinished at the time of his death. SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND AND INFLUENCESDuring the 19th century, scientist-writers such as MichelEugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood and David Sutter wrotetreatises on color, optical effects and perception. Theyadapted the scientific research of Helmholtz and Newton intoa written form that was understandable by laypeople. Artistsfollowed new discoveries in perception with great interest.Chevreul was perhaps the most important influence on artistsat the time; his great contribution was producing a color wheelof primary and intermediary hues.Chevreul was a French chemist who restored old tapestries.During his restorations of tapestries, he noticed that the onlyway to restore a section properly was to take into account theinfluence of the colors around the missing wool; he could notproduce the right hue unless he recognized the surroundingdyes. Chevreul discovered that two colors juxtaposed, slightlyoverlapping or very close together, would have the effect ofanother color when seen from a distance. The discovery ofthis phenomenon became the basis for the pointillisttechnique of the Neoimpressionist painters.
  4. 4. Chevreul also realized that the halo that one sees afterlooking at a color is the opposing, or complementary, color. Forexample: After looking at a red object, one may see a cyanecho/halo of the original object. This complementary color (asan example, cyan for red) is due to retinal persistence.Neoimpressionist painters interested in the interplay ofcolors made extensive use of complementary colors in theirpaintings. In his works, Chevreul advised artists to think andpaint not just the color of the central object, but to addcolors and make appropriate adjustments to achieve aharmony among colors. It seems that the harmony Chevreulwrote about is what Seurat came to call "emotion".According to Professor Anne Beauchemin from McGillUniversity, most Neoimpressionist painters probably did notread Chevreuls books, but instead they read Grammaire desarts du dessin, written in 1867 by Charles Blanc, who citedChevreuls works. Blancs book was directed at artists and artconnoisseurs. Because of colors emotional significance to him,he made explicit recommendations that were close to thetheories later adopted by the Neoimpressionists. He said thatcolor should not be based on the judgment of taste, butrather it should be close to what we experience in reality.Blanc did not want artists to use equal intensities of color, butto consciously plan and understand the role of each hue increating a whole.Ogden Rood also studied color and optical effects. Chevreulbased his theories on Newtons thoughts on the mixing of
  5. 5. light, but Rood based his writings on the work of Helmholtz.He analyzed the effects of mixing together and juxtaposingmaterial pigments. Rood valued as primary colors red, green,and blue-violet. Like Chevreul, he stated that if two colors areplaced next to each other, from a distance they look like athird distinctive color. Rood also pointed out that thejuxtaposition of primary hues next to each other would createa far more intense and pleasing color, when perceived by theeye and mind, than the corresponding color made simply bymixing paint. Rood advised that artists be aware of thedifference between additive and subtractive qualities ofcolor, since material pigments and optical pigments (light) donot mix together in the same way: Material pigments: Red + Yellow + Blue = Black Optical / Light : Red + Green + Blue = WhiteSeurat was also influenced by Sutters Phenomena of Vision(1880), in which he wrote that "the laws of harmony can belearned as one learns the laws of harmony and music". Heheard lectures in the 1880s by the as mathematician CharlesHenry at the Sorbonne, who discussed the emotionalproperties and symbolic meaning of lines and color. Henrysideas were quickly adopted by Seurat Seurats melding of science and emotion Seurat took to heart the color theorists notion of a scientific approach to painting. Seurat believed that a painter could use color to create harmony and emotion in art
  6. 6. in the same way that a musician uses counterpoint andvariation to create harmony in music. Seurat theorized thatthe scientific application of color was like any other naturallaw, and he was driven to prove this conjecture. He thoughtthat the knowledge of perception and optical laws could beused to create a new language of art based on its own set ofheuristics and he set out to show this language using lines,color intensity and color schema. Seurat called this languageChromoluminarism.His letter to Maurice Beaubourg in 1890 captures hisfeelings about the scientific approach to emotion andharmony. He says "Art is Harmony. Harmony is the analogy ofthe contrary and of similar elements of tone, of color and ofline, considered according to their dominance and under theinfluence of light, in gay, calm or sad combinations".Seurats theories can be summarized as follows: The emotionof gaiety can be achieved by the domination of luminoushues, by the predominance of warm colors, and by the use oflines directed upward. Calm is achieved through anequivalence/balance of the use of the light and the dark, bythe balance of warm and cold colors, and by lines that arehorizontal. Sadness is achieved by using dark and cold colorsand by lines pointing A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
  7. 7. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte showsmembers of each of the social classes participating in variouspark activities. The tiny juxtaposed dots of multi-coloredpaint allow the viewers eye to blend colors optically, ratherthan having the colors physically blended on the canvas. Ittook Seurat two years to complete this 10-foot-wide (3.0 m)painting, much of which he spent in the park sketching inpreparation for the work (there are about 60 studies). It isnow in the permanent collection of the Art Institute ofChicago.Seurat made several studies for the large painting including asmaller version, Study for A Sunday Afternoon on the Islandof La Grande Jatte (1884–1885), that is in the collection ofthe Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City  THE GALLERY OF SEURAT The Suburbs, 1882–1883, Museum of Modern Art, Troyes
  8. 8. Fishing in the Seine, 1883, Museum of Modern Art, TroyesThe Laborers 1883, National Gallery of Art Washington, DC.Study for A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,, 1884–1885,Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York CityBathers at Asnières, 1884, National Gallery, LondonView of Fort Samson 1885, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
  9. 9. Circus Sideshow (or Parade de Cirque), 1887–88, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NewYork CityThe Seine and la Grande Jatte - Springtime 1888, Royal Museums of Fine Arts ofBelgiumThe Models, 1888, Barnes Foundation, Merion, PAGray weather, Grande Jatte, 1888, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  10. 10. The Eiffel Tower 1889, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San FranciscoThe Circus, 1891, Musée dOrsay Paris