Sunday, December 2, 2012
French Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat was born on December 2, 1859, into a wealthy Parisian family. He studied art, particularly drawing, and allied himself with independent artists after his first major painting was rejected by the Paris Salon. In 1884 he befriended neo-Impressionist painter Paul Signac with whom he shared ideas about pointillism, a painting technique in which small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image. Art critics initially coined the name as a term of ridicule. Seurat absorbed popular color theorists' ideas about scientific approaches to painting, believing that color could be used to create harmony and emotion. His large canvas, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (1884–1886, pictured), is now an icon of late 19th-century painting.