Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
Georges Seurat founded 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. Seurat paintings were huge compositions with tiny, detached strokes of pure color too small to be distinguished when looking at the entire work. Yet, Seurat paintings, such as his most well-known, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, shimmer with brilliance.
Georges Seurat was born into a well-to-do Parisian family. After attending the Cole des Beaux-Arts and Brest Military Academy, Seurat returned to Paris in 1880 to seriously pursue a painting career. Seurat's first painting was rejected by the Paris Salon, causing Seurat to turn away from such establishments, and aligning himself with the independent community of artists in Paris. Here, Seurat found camaraderie and shared his ideas about Pointillism. He began working on his masterpiece, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, in 1884. This ten-foot wide Pointillism-style painting took two years to complete.
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