12 Grade Bartlett High School
November 7, 1995
Georges Seurat: The Neo-Impressionist
Georges Seurat was born in Paris on December 2, 1859. As a youth, he attended a municipal art school where he copied plaster casts and he then studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1878 and 1879 (Homer 7). The young Seurat was strongly influenced by Rembrant and Francisco de Goya. Seurat spent his entire life in Paris except for trips taken in the summer and a year in the military at Brest. He began his career in 1880 when he was drawn to the impressionist's technique and began to do small paintings of peasants, stone breakers, and other people at work. Georges Seurat rebelled against the empirical realism and spontaneous nature of Impressionism with the use of science to derive strictly composed works (Homer 23).
In the time of his formative years, Seurat was drawn to the works of the coloristic tradition.
He studied paintings by Delacroix, Monet, Pissarro, Puvis, and Renoir looking particularly at their representation of light and color. These artists had tried to find ways to make pigments appear more vibrant and intense (Blunt 21). Seurat focused on the impressionist attempt to capture the brilliant effect of sunlight. He also looked toward scientific and theoretical writings to learn more about luminosity, intensity, and harmony of color. He made many black and white drawings practicing his use of light and shade. Seurat wished to master drawing in shades of grey before jumping to colored oil paintings. His public debut in 1883, came with the admittance to the Salon of a pen portrait of his friend Aman-Jean (Russell 13).
During his experimentation with oil painting Seurat made large visible brush stokes part of some works as an impressionist might. He...