Monday, April 1, 2013

Not Just Dots

1/30/13: Not just Dots

                A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat

                What makes this work so interesting is that from a first glance, it looks almost like it’s been printed off a computer.  Seurat’s style involved two distinct techniques that pervaded his works; namely, divisionism and pointillism.  Divisionism involves putting two colors in such close proximity that they seem to create a single hue.   Pointillism is a way of applying paint to the surface with small dots made by a small brush.  This is what gives the painting its appearance as well as makes it so that there are no brush strokes in the painting.  As one might imagine, the painting took a long time to paint, taking Seurat over 2 years to paint.  During that time, he had to consider the viewers distance from the painting, which (being a work of Impressionism) meant he had to adjust the light in the work.  What is interesting is that unlike other works, this work has the majority of light in the background, while most of the dark hues are focused in the foreground.  This creates a cool effect of being able to see far off into the distance with clarity and gives the whole work a depth usually only seen in landscape paintings.

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