A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat, 1886, oil painting on canvas, 207 × 308cm, Art Institute of Chicago
It took two years for Georges Seurat to make the masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. This painting described a sunny day on the island of La Grande Jatte in Paris, where visitors had a rest in the forest on the riverbank. Some were walking, some were lying on the grass, some were fishing. The figures in the painting were so blurred that the outline itself was vague by dots, and everything seemed fuzzy. The process of creating this painting was divided into four steps: to sketch the contrast of light and shade; to sketch with color; to sketch background based on life drawing; to complete the draft with color point. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was made up of numerous color points, and the composition is extremely complex. Seurat studied every details of the characters, putting them in geometry figures reasonably with contrast of light and dark, so that gave people a comfortable feeling while seeing those fixed figures expressing orderly posture and position.
As the representative of the late impressionism, Seurat was not only a artist, but a scientist. He connected the latest concept of painting space with traditional perspective space, as well as the latest scientific finding, color and light perception together, to create the reasonable arrangement of “point painting method” in drawing, becoming one of the most important school of painting in 20th.