10 facts about the George Seurat’s most famous painting

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Georges Seurat – one of the greatest painters of the nineteenth century, representative of pointylism and neo-impressionism and author of such works as “Circus” or “Sunday afternoon on Grande Jatte”. An artist who shocked the critics, and his greatest work covered with… dots. Here are 10 surprising facts about his most famous image that may interest you!

. The artist himself said: Some say that they see poetry in my paintings. I see only scienceę. Seurat suddenly decided to change the concept. Soon after that,  impressionissive painting was covered by many dots.“SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN GRANDE JATTE”PAINTING WASN’T COVERED BY DOTS IMMEDIATELY. After 10 months of work on the image, probably under the influence of seaside travel and long observation of the sunlight, Seurat suddenly decided to change the concept. Soon after that,  impressionissive painting was covered by many dots.AT FIRST, SEURAT DIDN’T HAVE A CERTAINTY WHAT EFFECT WOULD HE ACHIEVE. He began experimenting with paint, but his studio was too small to judge the painting which was supposed to be watched from faraway. IT TOOK OVER TWO YEARS FOR SEURAT TO FINISH HIS WORK. The paintin, which he started in 1844, is the result of almost 60 drafts made during the snooping of people in the Parisian park. Then, to avoid  changes in light intensity, Seurat started  working in studio only with artificial lightning.


AT FIRST, THE PAINTING WAS BEING CRITICISED. Seurat’s breakthrough technique has been widely commented and has become the subject of many  discussions. The painter shocked the audience with multiplicity of colorful, adjacent dots. Some critics were laughing at the rigid figures in Seurat’s picture: these figures where mistakenly compared to Egyptian’s soldiers, although they were supposed to be associated with Egyptian’s figures.

COLORS ON THE PICTURE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS. While painting “Sunday afternoon on Grande Jatte”, Seurat were using a new pigment, a yellow zinc chromate, to reflect the color of the grass in the park. Over the years, however, the pigment has undergone a chemical reaction, and started changing it’s color to brown while Seurat was still alive.

THE CANVAS HAS PRACTICALLY BURNED IN NEW YORK. April 5, 1958 “Sunday afternoon on the Grande Jatte” was loaned to the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York when in neighboring Whitney Museum  fire broke. Fire damaged six canvases, hurt 31 people and killed one worker, but Seurat’s work was safely escorted through the elevator.

 SEURAT HAD ONLY 26 YEARS WHEN HE ENDED HIS MOST IMPORTANT IMAGE. Thanks to the artist’s involvement in the Société des Artistes Indépendants, his reputation has grown before the launch of “Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” Despite that, painter couldn’t be enjoying his fame for a long time- he died at ae 31, probably for diphtheria.

SUNDAY ON LA GRANDE JATTE” IS MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU THINK. It is not only the most famous work of Seurat’s, but also the biggest. Sunday afternoon on the Grande Jatte has an impressive size of 2 x 3 meters!

NOW YOU CAN HAVE THIS PAINTING FOR DAILY PLEASURE 😉 Thanks to Cacofonia Milano, fans of pointylism can now walk around the city wearing the most famous impressionism work!


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