Georges Seurat

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The pioneer of the Pointillism technique of painting, Georges Seurat is considered one of the most important post-impressionist painters of all times. Through the invention of Pointillism, Seurat invented a technique which was ingenious and at the same time presented paintings in a very precise and focused manner. Pointillism added more depth, meaning and structure to paintings. It enabled the painter to focus more on the technique of painting in a way that the viewer is prone to looking more intently at the painting. Seurat came up with the concept of Pointillism by studying various techniques and theories about color and composition. What he managed to create was something very ground breaking for it paved the way for future artists to adapt this way and think out of the box when it came to painting. In many ways Seurat dared to break free from the usual tradition and succeeded.

Georges-Pierre Seurat was born in 1859 in Paris into a wealthy family of merchants. Seurat’s strong perceptive mind started asking the right questions from a young age, most were regarding art and it was his inquisitive mind which made him develop Pointillism. The viewer can see the gracefulness of Seurat’s paintings, and the secret to that is indeed Pointillism. What the technique is basically painting in small dots in a line to gain a symphonic composition of color, in simple words doting different divisions of colors. As easy as it sounds it was quite labor intensive. For Seurat, being the great thinker that he was, Pointillism was a more structured approach towards painting and it enabled him to depict modern urban life a lot more clearly.  Seurat is famous for his quote ‘great things are done by a series of small things brought together’ which sums up Pointillism very easily. Seurat’s masterpiece A Sunday on La Grande Jatte is magnanimous in every degree, the painting stands seven feet tall and ten feet wide. Seurat was only 25 years old when he painted this, it took him two years to finish the painting with Pointillism – it is also the first painting he painted under this technique. With a paint brush, Seurat used small strokes of the color which gave a blended feel to the painting when viewed from afar. For Seurat each of his painting was not ‘poetry’ as many of his art lovers called it, for him it was science. The painting shows the middle class of Paris enjoying walks near the river Seine. Seurat’s technique was very anti-impressionist in certain ways; it drifted away from the normal practise of blending colors on the palette.

Seurat was seeking a sense of realism in her art through Pointillism, which is why he faced criticism for this new style once the painting was exhibited. Now art experts marvel and hail Seurat’s technique as one which was a game-changer for art post-impressionism. Seurat believed that every artist had their own vision of art and that they should be allowed the freedom to express it in their paintings and to not be afraid of change. At one point there was the sensible and soft Seurat and the other was a scientist who was searching madly for ways to make art more logical. For someone who revolutionised painting, he left the art world too soon – Seurat passed away at the age of 31. One can only marvel at the legacy he left behind.

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