Georges Seurat was born in Paris, France on December 2, 1859 to wealthy parents. Georges studied art at the Municipal School of Sculpture and Drawing, then later moved to the School of Fine Arts (both of which were in Paris). He received a traditional, classic art style education and followed a conventional course of academic training in which he drew from casts of sculptures, as well as copied drawings of the old masters.
In 1879, Seurat left art school to serve a year at the Brest Military Academy. Afterwards, he returned to Paris where he rented a small apartment, as well as a studio which he shared with friends. Over the next couple of years, Georges worked to perfect the art of monochrome (black and white) drawings, created with Conté Crayons.
but spent the majority of his time working on large art piece called, The Bathers at Asnieres.
Unfortunately, the Salon in Paris rejected his painting which caused Georges to turn away from the art establishment of the day. Instead, he became friends with other free-thinking artists known as the Groupe des Artistes Independants (Group of Independent Artists). They spent time sharing thoughts, inspiration, and ideas for ways to advance modern art.
One such friend was artist, Paul Signac, with whom he shared his new ideas about Pointillism. Pointillism is a painting technique in which dots of color are applied in patterns on a substrate to form a bigger image. The look is often soft and impressionistic.
Paul Signac was inspired by the systematic working methods of Seurat and by his theory of colors. He became a true friend, a faithful supporter, and heir to the Pointillism style.
In 1884, Georges Seurat began working on what would become his greatest masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It would take him two years to finish.
Afterwards, he moved to a different studio with his model and mistress, Madeleine Knobloch. She gave birth to his son, Pierre Georges, in 1890.
Sadly, Georges Seurat died the following year on March 29, 1891. The exact cause of his death is unknown, but some have speculated he died from diphtheria, meningitis, or pneumonia. At the time of his death, this final art piece, The Circus, was left unfinished.
Georges Seurat is known as one of the founders of Pointillism.
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Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.