Through students' eyes - Seurat

There were quite a few outstanding assignments about Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. The best ones will be shared here. Enjoy.

Ákos Pentz from 8/a wrote about a painting by Seurat.


La Grande Jatte

by Georges Seurat

In this picture, we can see a lot of people. They’re at the beach or maybe on an island. They’re under the trees, looking at the water, where we can see some ships. There are some dogs in the picture, too. The picture is blurry and the surface of it looks wrinkled. The painter used a lot of colors in his composition. We can see straight and curved lines. The picture is asymmetrical but we can see figures in every part of the painting. There are lots of different shapes in the picture, some round, some straight, but there are nearly circular ones too. I think this picture was made on canvas, but I don’t know why it’s so blurry.

This painting was painted by Georges Seurat, from 1884 to 1886. It was painted with oil on canvas. The size of it is 205 cm by 305 cm. I have found out that the reason behind the pictures blurriness is the method, which was used to create the painting.  It is called ‘pointillism’ and it was developed by the painter of the picture. The method uses small dots of pure color, which mix in the viewer’s eye, forming the whole picture.

This painting was made as a mirror of Bathers at Asnières, and we can see the other side of the water in it. I think the two paintings compare lower and upper levels of society. The people in the Bathers at Asnières are swimming and having fun, I think they’re the lower class and in the La Grande Jatte, rich people, the upper class are relaxing in their expensive looking outfits. The shapes are familiar to me. I feel like I have seen this picture before.

When I look at this picture, I have some words that come to mind. Some of them are: relaxing, as I can see the people relaxing, upper-class, because of the clothing, wealth, one woman has a monkey on a leash and I think only wealthy people could have that, and the last thing is boredom, people in this picture are just sitting on the grass, while in the Bathers at Asnières, people are swimming and having fun.

So I think wealth isn’t always good. In this picture wealth, to me, is connected with boredom, while the lower-class people are enjoying themselves.

What I would like to ask the author is: What does he think about the groups of society, how they’re arranged and how they’re different from each other? I think he would say what we can understand from the picture. That wealthy people can’t enjoy themselves as much as, lower-class, they have to be elegant and they want to look more powerful.

The most interesting thing about this picture to me is how people are different. How rich people dress in elegant outfits and enjoy the weather, while the poor people are in their everyday-clothes, and swimming in the water.

I really like this picture, that’s why I’ve chosen this one. The pointillism used makes it more interesting to me.