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1891, 185×152.5 cm • Oil, Canvas

Description of the artwork «Circus»

The circus was left unfinished. This is the latest picture of Sulphur. At the end of 90s he became interested in the topic of spectacle and display the night life of Paris. "Circus" was exhibited in March 1891 at the Salon of independents, a few days before his death. It resonates with other works Sulfur "Cancan"and "Parade". Entertainment spectacle, artificial lighting, using the theory of "emotional lines" combine these works in one cycle.

The figure of the clown in the foreground is comparable with the bassist from "Kankan". Who is he here? On the one hand, it seems like the organizer of this spectacle, on the other – it's obviously just a player. His figure seemed joined wily tempter and sad meme that causes laughter. The theory of lines and emotional impact of color is untenable. Upward line of the chin of the clown, his hands, hair messy, and even the NIB has an upturned nose, red hair and red clothes do not arouse joyful sensations. However, a gymnast on the horse and acrobat do create a sense of elation, and enthusiasm. Just perfect geometry of the picture. Roll lines, angles and tilts demonstrates excellent command of Sulfur by the laws of composition.

As a rule, in the paintings of Seurat absolutely no movement. Here he captures the moment of movement, that is to say the lack of it just will not work. Perhaps, in this case, the effect of a stopped moment, the movement is before and after, and in the image it froze, as if frozen in amber the fly.

The audience seem to be coming to the circus with other paintings by Seurat. Not visitors to the Lee of the island of La Grande Jatte we see in the pit? But the guys with "Bathing at Asnières" probably a gallery.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork
Subject and objects: Genre scene
Style of art and technique: Pointillism, Oil

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