Georges Seurat 12.2.12 Thought of the Day


“Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science.”
Georges Seurat

Georges Seurat (1859-1891), photo

Georges Seurat (1859-1891), photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

George Seurat was born on this day in Paris, France in 1859. Today is the 153rd anniversary of his birth.

He was born to a wealthy family. His father was distant and taciturn.

At every available opportunity, Antoine-Christophe took leave of his family and disappeared to his villa in the suburbs to grow flowers and say mass in the company of his gardener; he was only at home on Tuesdays. Seurat’s mother was quiet and unassuming, but it was she who gave some warmth and continuity to his childhood. [Renoir Fine Art Inc.]

The family lived on the Boulevarde de Magenta near “Le Parc des Butte-Chaumont” and Georges and his mother often strolled through the park together. He revisited the park in his paintings. Seurat was a quite young man with a gentle voice. He always dressed in a dignified manner. Friends teased him that his tall handsome appearance made him look like a department store model. But he “was serious and intense ­ preferring to spend his money on books rather than on food or drink.” [Ibid]

He went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1878. He preferred pointillism over the soft brushstrokes of impressionism. He took a scientific approach to painting, working “fixed hours and (using a) meticulous systematization of his technique.” [Ibid]

English: Bathers at Asnières, Georges Seurat, ...

English: Bathers at Asnières, Georges Seurat, 1884. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He painted six huge canvas paintings that represent the bulk of his artistic output. The first, painted in 1813 (and taking almost the entire year to complete) was Bathing at Asnieres.

Next came La Grande Jatte. He spent two years on La Grande Jatte, going to the same spot every day for months. There he would sketch in the morning, then in the afternoon he would return to his studio and paint on his giant canvas.

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Le Grande Jatte “made” Seurat.  He took a studio next to fellow pointillist Signac in Montmartre.

Here he was surrounded by artists ranging from the conservative decorator Puvis de Chavannes, whom he greatly admired, to more progressive contempories ­ including Degas, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. He was at the center of artistic debates, but he kept aloof from them. [Renoir Fine Art Inc.]

Likewise he keep aloof about pricing his paintings. He didn’t need to worry about money like some of his fellow artists.

He settled into an annual routine of painting large canvas s in his studio during the winter and doing smaller marine paintings at one of the Normandy Ports in the Summer.

Paris - Musée d'Orsay: Georges Seurat's Le Cirque

Paris – Musée d’Orsay: Georges Seurat’s Le Cirque (Photo credit: wallyg)

His other large canvas paintings include Le Cirque (1890), The Models (1888), La Parade (1889), and Le Chahut (1891).

Le Chahut, 1889–1890, Kröller-Müller Museum, O...

Le Chahut, 1889–1890, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seurat died at the age of 31 from meningitis in March of 1891.

 

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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