Skip to Content
Closed today, next open tomorrow. Closed today, next open tomorrow.

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884

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

Image actions

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

Date:

1884/86

Artist:

Georges Seurat
French, 1859-1891

About this artwork

In his best-known and largest painting, Georges Seurat depicted people from different social classes strolling and relaxing in a park just west of Paris on La Grande Jatte, an island in the Seine River. Although he took his subject from modern life, Seurat sought to evoke the sense of timelessness associated with ancient art, especially Egyptian and Greek sculpture. He once wrote, “I want to make modern people, in their essential traits, move about as they do on those friezes, and place them on canvases organized by harmonies of color.”

Seurat painted A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884 using pointillism, a highly systematic and scientific technique based on the hypothesis that closely positioned points of pure color mix together in the viewer’s eye. He began work on the canvas in 1884 (and included this date in the title) with a layer of small, horizontal brushstrokes in complementary colors. He next added a series of dots that coalesce into solid and luminous forms when seen from a distance. Sometime before 1889 Seurat added a border of blue, orange, and red dots that provide a visual transition between the painting’s interior and the specially designed white frame, which has been re-created at the Art Institute.

Status

On View, Gallery 240

Department

Painting and Sculpture of Europe

Artist

Georges Seurat

Title

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884

Place

France (Artist's nationality)

Date

1884–1886

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Inscribed at lower right: Seurat

Dimensions

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

Credit Line

Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1926.224

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/27992/manifest.json

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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share