A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884

Large painting of people in a crowded park, brushstrokes are dots
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Large painting of people in a crowded park, brushstrokes are dots

Date:

1884/86

Artist:

Georges Seurat
French, 1859-1891

About this artwork

“Bedlam,” “scandal,” and “hilarity” were among the epithets used to describe what is now considered Georges Seurat’s greatest work, and one of the most remarkable paintings of the nineteenth century, when it was first exhibited in Paris. Seurat labored extensively over A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884, reworking the original as well as completing numerous preliminary drawings and oil sketches (the Art Institute has one such sketch and two drawings). With what resembles scientific precision, the artist tackled the issues of color, light, and form. Inspired by research in optical and color theory, he juxtaposed tiny dabs of colors that, through optical blending, form a single and, he believed, more brilliantly luminous hue. To make the experience of the painting even more intense, he surrounded the canvas with a frame of painted dashes and dots, which he, in turn, enclosed with a pure white wood frame, similar to the one with which the painting is exhibited today. The very immobility of the figures and the shadows they cast makes them forever silent and enigmatic. Like all great master-pieces, La Grande Jatte continues to fascinate and elude.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 240

Artist

Georges Seurat

Title

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884

Origin

France

Date

1884–1886

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Inscribed at lower right: Seurat

Dimensions

81 3/4 × 121 1/4 in. (207.5 × 308.1 cm)

Credit Line

Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1926.224

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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