Category Archives: Impressionism and post-impressionism

Research Point: Seurat and Pointillism

Georges Seurat (2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891) came from a rich family in Paris.  He was a Post-Impressionist painter and is known for devising a technique in painting called ‘Pointellism’.  He founded the ‘Society of Independent Artists’ with other artists after his first major painting ‘Bathers at Asnières’ was turned down for the Paris Salon of 1884.

Seurat Bathers at Asnieres

Pointillism is considered an offshoot of Impressionism but is usually categorized as Post-Impressionism and is also considered to have had an influence on Fauvism.  Small dots of pure primary colour are used to make secondary colours.  If you are close to the painting you can see the individual dots of colour that merge to make up the different colours that you see when you stand a distance away.

I found this video on YouTube, no wonder Seurat’s ‘A Sunday on La Grand Jatte’ took 2 years to complete when you see a close up of the small dots that make up the painting.

This is interesting as well, I can understand the theory behind Pointillism now – ‘optical fusion’ with the seperate colours placed on top of each other rather than mixing them together so they stay pure rather than making mud.

A National Film Board of Canada series:-

I’ve put some drawings in my sketchbook along with a small piece of embroidery I did using french knots and even those small pieces took ages.