Seurat, inventor of neo-impressionism

Georges Seurat made his name as the inventor of neo-impressionism, with his paintings composed of minutely dotted – pointillist – brushstrokes and his keen interest in scientific colour theories.

In the 1880s, Georges Seurat surprised the art world with his paintings composed of minutely dotted – pointillist – brushstrokes. During his short career - he died at the early age of 31 - he painted around fifty works in this new style. Seurat developed his revolutionary painting technique of 'pointillism' on the basis of the latest scientific theories in the field of colour and light. His paintings are built up from a combination of minute dots and brush strokes in complementary and contrasting colours. The unmixed colour notes merge together in the eye of the beholder, creating a gently shimmering, vibrating effect.

Paris at the end of the 19th century
The French capital, which in the course of the nineteenth century develops into a modern metropolis, with wide boulevards, spacious parks, commercial places of entertainment and a ring of suburbs, provides Seurat with countless subjects for his drawings and figure pieces. He paints the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of progress, still before its completion. The themes for Le Chahut and Le Cirque he finds in the dance halls and circuses, which in his day were regularly frequented by artists and writers.

Summer at the coast
From 1885 onwards, Seurat spent his summers at resorts along the coast of Northern France, from Grandcamp to Gravelines. There he produced tranquil seascapes, greatly contrasting with the lively city scenes. 

"let's go and get drunk on the light once more, that's a consolation"
                                                                                                       
   Georges Seurat

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