Interpretive Resource

Artist Biography: Georges Seurat

A concise biography about Seurat's life and work.

National Gallery of Art. Micro Gallery—National Gallery of Art. Online Content. Washington, D.C., 2004.

Georges Seurat
French, 1859-1891
A key post-impressionist painter, Georges Seurat moved away from the apparent spontaneity and rapidity of impressionism and developed a structured, more monumental art to depict modern urban life. For several of his large compositions, Seurat painted many small studies.

Seurat studied avant-garde painting techniques, especially impressionism and the latest scientific theories pertaining to light and color. From 1885 to 1886 he developed the divisionist technique. This new style, which consisted of systematically applied small touches of unmodulated color, was based on contemporary optical theories of color relationships.

Two years after his first neo-impressionist work was shown at the Salon des Indépendants, Seurat exhibited A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1886, The Art Institute of Chicago) at the eighth and final impressionist group show in 1886. His disciplined technique exerted a considerable influence over neo-impressionist artists such as Camille Pissarro, Henri Edmond Cross, and Paul Signac.



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