A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

7 July 2016

George Seurat’s painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande Jatte” is a widely known painting in the era of impressionism with the technique known as pointilism. This painting is so unique because it is a painting that has taken so much time and careful thought to make. It was a long process for George Seurat to make this painting, two years. A painting make by moving your brush around is an easy painting, but George Seurat had to use dots to create his masterpiece. Over a period of two years he carefully places the dots of different colors.

He could not mix colors so he had to place different colors next to each other to create optical mixing. Another reason why this painting is a masterpiece is because of the meaning of the painting. Nobody really understands the exact meaning of what this art represents. I heard some critics express that everyone wonders what the lady in black is starring at, and why is she so important in this painting.

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People also question the monkey that she is holding, what can the monkey mean. To me this painting represents tranquility, and peace.

Just looking at this painting I could see that everyone is relaxed. Everyone one is just enjoying a quiet sunny day with almost everyone looking in the same direction. The way the people are dressed show that they are sophisticated people. I enjoy watching this painting because – feel as thought I can just live in a place like that. This painting is really good for a decoration piece in your house. Your visitors will be talking about this painting, and the painting is just a timeless work of art.

“Impressionism was a 19th century art movement that began as a loose association of paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prommence in the 1870’s and 1880’s. ” (Wikipedia) The name of this movement started from a painting from Claude Monet entitled Impression, Sunrise , and a critic, Louis Leory, made the term when he published his review. The characteristics of impressionism are light brush strokes that depict the different lights. -impressionists paintings are usually modern life like portraits and landscapes.

Ainting realistic scenes, let the author portray visual effects, by using short brush stokes. Some techniques of impressionism is to use short thick brushstrokes in order to catch an essence rather than the details. Colors are also applied side by side, less mixing, to create optical mixing, just like pointillism. In impressionism black is avoided, so grays and dark tones are made by mixing complementary colors. -mpressionists paintings are also drawn in the sunlight in order to get the shadow effects.

In history many artists have used these techniques separately but impressionism was the first to use all of them together. The impressionist movement can also be a reaction to photography. Photography compared to paintings did not match. Photography was obviously better and the critics would undermine the artwork as not being able to express realism. Impressionism began, so it can show that they can draw realisitc paintings but also show a different point of view. Photography was like a challange to artists. Artists were able to use different art expressions and look for ways to show what photography cannot.

The important people who contributed to this impressionism movement were Frederic Bizalle, Gustave Caillebotte, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Armana. Guillaumin, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissaro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred sisley. Impressionism was such a big movement that it inspired other art field to follow the movement like sculpture, music, and literature. From impressionism, post-impressionism was developed. Some of the artist considered the time of post impressionism were Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gaugun, George Seurat, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

There are many realistic shapes being represented in this painting, it is so realistic, that you can picture yourslef in the painting and in some way relate the painting to your own life. In this painting. The entire art contains two dimensional shapes. Even though this painting is two dimensional, it does not look dull or flat, this is the reason why George Seurat, decided to paint using the pointillism technique because it gave the painting texture. The repeated shapes across the painting make the painting balanced.

The people in this masterpiece are made of shapes, and since they are repeated in the painting they create balance, instead of having a couple of people that will distract your eye, if not positioned right, and the painting would be unbalanced. Eventhough the people are perfectly placed and perfectly balanced, the largest women, on the right, has a dominance over the rest of the people. Her dominance can be because of her larger shape or even because her darker colors. Shapes can also express many emotions. The shapes of the people are normal, but our first thought when we see them in the painting is, to think about what they are doing.

Viewers start to observe, and wonder why are they positioned like that, and what does there body language express. The way the people are shped gives the people a sense of mystery and that is what a painting should be, something to talk about and for everyone to express their own opinion. ? line Even though this painting does not have a continuous line, because the painting is made of dots, when you look at the painting from a distance you can see that the colors create lines. The lines are all over the painting outlining the peopl, the trees, the land, and the lake.

The measure of the lines in this painting are thin lines and that gives it a good balance because the element that stands out in this painting is color. In this painting, lines are also represented in the background where about seven trees are standing next to eachother. These vertical lines give the upper right side of the painting very dominant because the lines are thick and the trees a re creating shadow. The value of the lines, that outline the people in this painting, are dark. They are dark because they have to contrast themselves from the different colors surrounding them.

It is not always necessary but having a contrast between a light and a dark will make the image easier to be seen. Contrast in values is what allowas us to see the lines and shapes. Chiaroscuro , naturally blending lights and darks, is partially represented in this picture. The sunlight is directly hitting the lake, that is the highlight because you can see a very light color, and as you keep on looking down to the direction of the lower right, the painting starts gradually decreasing the value until it reaches its darkest value.

The patterns in this paintng are very organized. The values in this painting do not have a drastic change. ? Texture In this painting a lot of texture is happening. This painting looks better this way than if it where made by solid colors. There kind of tex0ture that is used in this paint is simulated texture because the surface of this painting looks real but it is not. The texture and pattern that is cause by the pointillism is very helpful in detailing the trees and water and given the painting life.

This painting is not three dimensional, but witht the texture that is being caused by the dots, it makes it look more interesting. COLOR Color is one of the most important part of a painting. Being ble to see the colors can affect our emotions directly. The better use of color in the painting, the more realistic it will look, the brighter the colors than maybe the affect can be happier rather than dark colors usually representing sadness. Colors are affected by light. If there is little light than there is little color, and if there is more light than the color would be more intense.

There are many hues that are in this painting, the green is oviously more dominant because of all the grassland, and then there are the reds, blues, and yellows. This painting has every color and by the intensity of the light, this painting looks like a happy painting. Overall,based on the type of colors, this painting contains cool colors. It is cool colors because the most that I see are green from the grass and blue from the lake. Another positive to this painting is that there is color balance. There colors are not positioned in only one location, and also not like other paintings where they limit themselves to some colors.

This painting has a diverse types of color and it makes the painting have harmony. Space is also important in a painting. Distributing what about of space you want will give it balance or depth. On eye level, this painting you are able to see people, and its perfectly balanced that the empty space between the people is positive because the painting does not seem clutterrd up. Some could say that this paintings is blurry because you cannot see the face clearly but it is clear enough to see some of the peoples facial expressions. ?

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A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. (2016, Jul 26). Retrieved December 6, 2019, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-a-sunday-afternoon-on-the-island-of-la-grande-jatte/
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