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Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte

Painting, 1886, 207.5×308.1 cm

Description of the artwork «Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte»

"Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte" was first shown at the eighth and last impressionist exhibition in 1886. The painting was immediately recognized as one of the greatest works of our time. Working on this huge painting took Seurat two years.

The artist applies color in the form of dots or spots of contrasting colors and it allows you to create particularly vivid and bright picture. From impressionism was not a single trace of it, the picture is clearly structured, orderly and thought-out composition, the figures seem monumental. They have no individuality, but have a timelessness, evoking the idea of ancient frescoes. Impressionistic moment Sera was frozen and took forever.

On La Grande Jatte Sunday gathered light. Also extremely valued, this island prostitutes: in an atmosphere of relaxation and recreation easy to look for a customer. And secular dandies, respectively, easily found a girl for entertainment. Of La Grande Jatte has even been called the island of love. The context of the time immediately clarify that the depicted Sulfur. For example, the girl on the left with a fishing rod in his hands don't look like a fisherman-the fan. Quite different is the fish it intends to catch this weekend. The pair on the right seem respectable bourgeois. And if you look closely to what is on a leash the lady is not a dog, and a monkey? And if you know that the monkey was a symbol of depravity, and the Parisian jargon so called prostitutes? Perhaps, a respectable pair appears in a different light. In the back we see the embracing couple, but in light of other discoveries little chance to believe that this young lovers.

In the center of the painting little girl in a white hand with his mother or nanny. As usual, the Sulfur does not prescribe the details. "The artist must learn to depict not the object, and the essence of the subject. When he says horse, it should not be that specific horse that you can identify on the street. The camera creates a photograph; but we must go much further"– declared their approach Sulfur. The girl in white represents youth and purity. But placed in this environment, it is worrying about their future.

There's a little on the older child, a Bouncing baby girl. Almost next to the seemingly respectable couple – young girl bent over a bouquet of flowers. Anyone could become a baby in a white dress? What will all these girls and women? Do they "fish" on the La Grande Jatte? It seems that the girl in white is the only one looking directly into the face of the audience, as if waiting for an answer to this question.

"The island" Sera – converted with a modern twist quote Puvis de Chavannes "Sacred grove". Seurat borrowed from Chavannes the feeling of frozen time. But his eternity a very different taste. From Puvis depicts what is happening in a distant mythical island, the island of Sulfur. In place of the muses Chavannes came prostitutes. So it can look like the sacred grove 1884.

Striking is the parallel between this painting and "Bathing at Asnières". A secular society on the right Bank and the world working on the left. Two faces, two sides of the modern world: a shaded island and the sunshine coast.

Author: Alain Esaulova
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Pointillism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1886

Size: 207.5×308.1 cm

Artwork in selections: 50 selections

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