This is Seurat’s final study for his monumental painting of Parisians at leisure on an island in the Seine (Art Institute of Chicago). Contrasting pigments are woven together with small, patchy brushstrokes, whereas in the mural-sized park scene—which debuted two years later at the 1886 Impressionist exhibition—Seurat used tighter, dot-like dabs of paint, a technique which came to be known as Pointillism (from the French word point, or dot). He preferred the term Divisionism—the principle of separating color into small touches placed side-by-side and meant to blend in the eye of the viewer.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Study for "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte"
Artist:Georges Seurat (French, Paris 1859–1891 Paris)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:27 3/4 x 41 in. (70.5 x 104.1 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951
The artist's brother-in-law, Léon Appert, Paris (in 1892); Félix Fénéon, Paris (by 1904–at least 1909); [Stephan Bourgeois, New York, by 1916–at least 1918]; Adolph Lewisohn, New York (1919–d. 1938; cat., 1928, pp. 186–87, ill., as "Un Après-midi à la Grande Jatte"); his son, Sam A. Lewisohn, New York (1938–d. 1951)
Pavillon de la Ville de Paris. "Salon des Indépendants (8e exposition)," March 19–April 27, 1892, no. 1088 (as "Etude pour 'Un dimanche à la Grande-Jatte,'" lent by M. Appert, probably this picture).
Paris. Revue Blanche. "Georges Seurat (1860 [sic]–1891): Œuvres peintes et dessinées," March 19–April 5, 1900, no. 16 (lent by M. ººº, probably this picture).
Vienna. Secession. "Entwicklung des Impressionismus in Malerei u. Plastik," January–February 1903, no. 118 (as "Sonntag in 'Grande Jatte'").
Grandes Serres de la Ville de Paris (Cours-la-Reine). "Société des Artistes Indépendants, 21me exposition, rétrospective Georges Seurat," March 24–April 30, 1905, no. 5 (lent by Félix Fénéon).
Munich. Kunstverein. "Französische Künstler," September 1906, no. 99 [see Dorra and Rewald 1959 and de Hauke 1961].
Frankfurt. Kunstverein. "Französische Künstler," October 1906, no. 99 [see Dorra and Rewald 1959 and de Hauke 1961].
Dresden. Galerie Arnhold. "Französische Künstler," November 1906, no. 99 [see Dorra and Rewald 1959 and de Hauke 1961].
Karlsruhe. Kunstverein. "Französische Künstler," December 1906, no. 99 [see Dorra and Rewald 1959 and de Hauke 1961].
Stuttgart. Kunstverein. "Französische Künstler," January 1907, no. 99 [see Dorra and Rewald 1959 and de Hauke 1961].
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Georges Seurat (1859–1891)," December 14, 1908–January 9, 1909, no. 45 (lent by M. F[élix]. F[énéon].).
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "La Faune," December 19–30, 1910, no. 96.
New York. Bourgeois Galleries. "Exhibition of Modern Art," April 3–29, 1916, no. 40 (as "A Sunday at Grande-Jatte") [see Pach 1916].
Arts Club of Chicago. "French Post Impressionists," April 9–23, 1919, no. 19.
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Georges Seurat (1859–1891)," January 15–31, 1920, no. 22.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings," May 3–September 15, 1921, no. 113 (lent by Adolph Lewisohn).
New York. Union League Club. "Exhibition of 'Modern' Pictures Representing Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Expressionist, and Cubist Painters," April 8–10, 1924, no. 32 (as "La Promenade").
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "First Loan Exhibition: Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, van Gogh," November 7–December 7, 1929, no. 56 (lent by Adolph Lewisohn, New York).
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Summer Exhibition: Retrospective," June 15–September 28, 1930, no. 96 (lent by Adolph Lewisohn, New York).
Washington Gallery of the Museum of Modern Art. November 1931, no catalogue [see Jewell 1931].
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "French Art: 1200–1900," January 4–March 12, 1932, no. 523 (lent by Adolf [sic] Lewisohn, New York) [commemorative catalogue, no. 503].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Taste of Today in Masterpieces of Painting before 1900," July 10–October 2, 1932, no catalogue (lent by Adolph Lewisohn).
Buffalo. Albright Art Gallery. "The Nineteenth Century: French Art in Retrospect, Eighteen Hundred to Nineteen Hundred," November 1–30, 1932, no. 56 (lent by Adolph Lewisohn, New York).
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Summer Exhibition: Painting and Sculpture," July 10–September 30, 1933, no catalogue [see Sterling and Salinger 1967].
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Exhibition of Modern European Art," October 4–25, 1933, unnumbered cat. (lent by Adolph Lewisohn).
New York. Durand-Ruel. "Important Paintings by Great French Masters of the Nineteenth-century," February 12–March 10, 1934, no. 48 (lent by Adolph Lewisohn).
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Modern Works of Art," November 20, 1934–January 20, 1935, no. 27 (lent by the Adolph Lewisohn collection).
Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago. "24 Paintings and Drawings by Georges-Pierre Seurat," February 5–25, 1935, no. 15 (as "Sunday on La Grande Jatte—Final Study," lent by Adolph Lewisohn).
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Summer Exhibitions: Painting & Sculpture from the Museum Collection and on Loan," June 23–November 4, 1937, no catalogue.
New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Views of Paris: Loan Exhibition of Paintings," January 9–28, 1939, no. 37 (lent by the Lewisohn Collection).
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Art in Our Time," May 10–September 30, 1939, no. 74 (lent by the Lewisohn Collection, New York).
New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European & American Paintings, 1500–1900," May–October 1940, no. 369 (lent by the Lewisohn Collection, New York).
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. February 1942–December 1943, no catalogue (lent by Mr. Sam A. Lewisohn) [possibly included in the exhibition "American and European Paintings from Public and Private Collections" during this time].
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Paintings from New York Private Collections," July 2–September 22, 1946, unnumbered cat. (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn).
New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Six Masters of Post-Impressionism," April 8–May 8, 1948, no. 50 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A Lewisohn).
New York. Knoedler Galleries. "Seurat, 1859–1891: Paintings and Drawings," April 19–May 7, 1949, no. 7 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn).
New York. Durand-Ruel Galleries. "'What They Said'—Postscript to Art Criticism," November 28–December 17, 1949, no. 7 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lewisohn Collection," November 2–December 2, 1951, no. 79.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Treasures of the Metropolitan," November 7, 1952–September 7, 1953, no. 150.
Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "De David à Toulouse-Lautrec: Chefs-d'œuvre des collections américaines," April 20–July 5, 1955, no. 51.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Seurat: Paintings and Drawings," January 16–March 7, 1958, no. 100.
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Seurat: Paintings and Drawings," March 24–May 11, 1958, no. 100.
New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Neo-Impressionism," February 9–April 7, 1968, no. 76.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 86).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Impressionist Epoch," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 75.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 75.
Düsseldorf. Städtische Kunsthalle. "Vom Licht zur Farbe: Nachimpressionistische Malerei zwischen 1886 und 1912," May 27–July 10, 1977, no. 104.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seurat: Drawings and Oil Sketches from New York Collections," September 29–November 27, 1977, no. 49.
Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Seurat, 1859–1891," April 9–August 12, 1991, no. 139.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Georges Seurat, 1859–1891," September 24, 1991–January 12, 1992, no. 141.
London. National Gallery. "Seurat and the Bathers," July 2–September 28, 1997, no. 84.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Seurat and the Making of 'La Grande Jatte'," June 16–September 19, 2004, no. 64.
Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "Le Néo-impressionnisme de Seurat à Paul Klee," March 14–July 10, 2005, unnumbered cat. (p. 143).
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 111.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Kunsthaus Zürich. "Georges Seurat: Figure in Space," October 2, 2009–January 17, 2010, no. 45 (as "Étude d'ensemble pour 'Un Dimanche à la Grande Jatte' [Final Study for 'A Sunday on La Grande Jatte']").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity," February 26–May 7, 2013, no. 136.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence," March 12–July 29, 2018, unnumbered cat.
LOAN OF THIS WORK IS RESTRICTED.
Georges Seurat. Letter to Félix Fénéon. June 20, 1890 [Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; drafts in the Morgan Library, New York, and the De Hauke archives; published in Ref. Herbert 1991], sets down the chronology of the evolution of La Grande Jatte; in the Morgan draft, states that both the studies and the final painting were begun on Accension Day, 1884.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Entwicklungsgeschichte der Modernen Kunst. Stuttgart, 1904, vol. 3, ill. p. 102, as in the collection of Félix Fénéon; dates it 1884.
Wilhelm Michel. "Eine Ausstellung Französischer Künstler im Münchener Kunstverein." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 18 (1907), p. 26.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Modern Art, Being a Contribution to a New System of Aesthetics. London, 1908, vol. 1, p. 311, ill. opp. p. 310, mentions that it appeared in Paris at the Salon des Indépendants.
Ulfred Kirstein. Meister der Farbe. Vol. 5, no. 10, Ein Sonntag auf der Grande Jatte. 1908, essay no. 343, unpaginated, ill. (color).
J.-F. Schnerb. "Un Dimanche à la Grande Jatte (Esquisse)." Les Maîtres contemporains (1908), unpaginated, no. 55, ill. (color), as in the collection of Félix Fénéon.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Entwicklungsgeschichte der Modernen Kunst. Vol. 2, 2nd ed. Munich, 1915, pl. 383.
Walter Pach. Letter to Henri Matisse. October 21, 1915 [excerpted in Laurette E. McCarthy, "Walter Pach: Artist, Critic, Historian, and Agent of Modernism", Ph.D. diss., University of Delaware (1996), p. 142], states that he hopes to show it at Exh. New York 1916.
Henri Matisse. Letter to Walter Pach. November 20, 1915 [published and translated in John Cauman, "Henri Matisse's Letters to Walter Pach", Archives of American Art Journal 31, no. 3 (1991), p. 4], hopes Pach will "have the large Seurat that [he] want[s]" for Exh. New York 1916; states that it will likely be shipped together with his own works.
Walter Pach. "Modern Art Today." Harper's Weekly 62 (April 29, 1916), pp. 470–71, ill., review of Exh. New York 1916.
"More Modern Art at Bourgeois'." American Art News 14 (April 8, 1916), p. 3.
"Art Notes: Fine Examples of Modern Art on View—Emile Fuchs's Portraits." New York Times (April 13, 1916), p. 12, calls it "at once a formal synthesis and a painting full of emotional charm" and "profoundly satisfying"
James Huneker. "The Seven Art: The Modern Art." Puck 79 (May 20, 1916), p. 12.
Fritz Burger. Die Kunst des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 1, Einführung in die Moderne Kunst. Berlin, 1917, pp. 92–93, pl. 106.
Walter Pach. Georges Seurat. New York, 1923, p. 22, calls it the definitive sketch for the final composition; observes in the sketch "a tendency to brush together the colors"; contrasts its execution with that of the finished work.
Hans Hildebrandt. Die Kunst des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 2, Wildpark-Potsdam, 1924, pl. 374.
Anton Springer. Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte. Vol. 5, Von 1800 bis zur Gegenwart. 1925, p. 290, ill. [see Ref. Dorra and Rewald 1959].
Forbes Watson. "A Note on the Birch-Bartlett Collection." The Arts 9 (June 1926), p. 304, ill. p. 309.
Stephan Bourgeois. The Adolph Lewisohn Collection of Modern French Paintings and Sculptures. New York, 1928, pp. 186–87, ill.
Stephan Bourgeois. "The Passion of Art Collecting: Notes on the Adolph Lewisohn Collection." Art News (April 14, 1928), pp. 60, 65, ill.
Robert Allerton Parker. "The Drawings of Georges Seurat." International Studio 91 (September 1928), pp. 16, 20, ill. (color).
A[lfred]. H. B[arr]. Jr. First Loan Exhibition: Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, van Gogh. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1929, pp. 25, 43, no. 56, ill., dates it 1885–86; analyses its organization; calls it the final study for "La Grande Jatte"; compares the composition to that of "La Parade".
Lillian Semons. "The Museum of Modern Art, Its Advent and Its First Show." Brooklyn New York Times (November 10, 1929), p. ?.
"New Modern Art Museum Opens Exhibit Today." New York Herald Tribune (November 7, 1929), p. 48.
Royal Cortissoz. "French Painting in the Opening Show." New York Herald Tribune (November 10, 1929), p. G10, calls it his "masterpiece" and notes its "beguiling color" and luminosity; states that "often Seurat's theme is swallowed up in his technical formula, but this picture gives nature its chance".
J. F. "Items." New Yorker (November 30, 1929), p. 38.
"Shows Modern Art Here Tomorrow." New York Times (November 7, 1929), p. 26.
R. H. Wile[n]ski. French Painting. Boston, 1931, pp. 318, 322, dates it 1884–86; states that it stands halfway between the first sketches of the composition and the final work.
Samuel A. Lewisohn. "Drama in Painting." Creative Art 9 (September 1931), ill. p. 192.
Guy Eglinton. Reaching for Art. Boston, 1931, p. 46, ill. opp. p. 48.
Stephan Bourgeois and Waldemar George. "The French Paintings of the XIXth and XXth Centuries in the Adolph and Samuel Lewisohn Collection." Formes nos. 28–29 (1932), pp. 301, 306, ill. between pp. 304 and 305.
Exhibition of French Art, 1200–1900. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1932, p. 238, no. 523, dates it 1884; incorrectly lists an exhibition in 1924 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Royal Academy of Arts. Commemorative Catalogue of the Exhibition of French Art, 1200–1900. London, 1933, p. 113, no. 503.
Alfred H. Barr Jr., ed. Modern Works of Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1934, pp. 12, 24, no. 27, pl. 27, dates it 1885–86; refers to it as the large final study for "La Grande Jatte".
René Edouard-Joseph. Dictionnaire biographique des artistes contemporains 1910–1930. Vol. 3, Paris, 1934, pp. 293–95, ill. p. 294, estimates that it is one of around sixty studies for the canvas now in Chicago.
Daniel Catton Rich. Seurat and the Evolution of "La Grande Jatte". Chicago, 1935, pp. 17, 24–25, 58, no. 49, pl. XLIV [excerpt reprinted in "Seurat in Perspective", ed. Norma Broude, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1978, pp. 72, 76, fig. 14], calls it a definitive study that is chiefly concerned with color harmony; believes that Seurat greatly depended on it when enlarging the design onto the final canvas; considers the intensity of color and concludes that it exceeds that of the finished painting.
Introduction by R. H. Wilenski. Vanity Fair's Portfolio of Modern French Art. New York, 1935, unpaginated, colorpl. 16.
Meyer Schapiro. "Seurat and 'La Grande Jatte'." Columbia Review 17 (November 1935), ill. p. 8.
Marie Zoe Mercier. "Museum of Modern Art." Commonweal (February 15, 1935), p. ?, discusses its subtle composition of lines "as solemn as the progress of a freize [sic]".
Sam A. Lewisohn. Painters and Personality: A Collector's View of Modern Art. [New York], 1937, pp. 46, 49, pl. 7 [rev. ed., 1948, p. 46, pl. 7].
Edward Alden Jewell. "Gallery to Open in Capital Today." New York Times (November 14, 1937), p. 51, mentions that the painting is included in an exhibition at the Washington Gallery of the Museum of Modern Art in 1937.
Sam A. Lewisohn. "Personalities Past and Present." Art News, section I (The 1939 Annual), 37 (February 25, 1939), pp. 69, 155, ill. (installation photo of Lewisohn's home), states that he and his father bought it in 1919, citing the "combination of vivacity and order" as its greatest merit.
Mary H. Piexotto. "Famous Art Collections: The Lewisohn Collection." Studio 117 (March 1939), p. 99, ill.
Art in our Time. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1939, unpaginated, no. 74, ill., calls it the "final and nearly complete study" for the painting in Chicago.
Views of Paris: Loan Exhibition of Paintings. Exh. cat., M. Knoedler & Co. New York, 1939, p. 23, no. 37, dates it about 1885.
"One of the Greatest Exhibitions of Modern Art Ever Assembled." The Standard (August 19, 1939), p. ?.
R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, , p. 349.
Alfred M. Frankfurter. "383 Masterpieces of Art." Art News (The 1940 Annual) 38 (May 25, 1940), p. 66, states that it is an "intermediate state toward a large picture".
Walter Pach inMasterpieces of Art: Catalogue of European and American Paintings, 1500–1900. Exh. cat., World's Fair. New York, 1940, pp. 239, 248, 250, no. 369, ill., dates it 1884; calls it the "final and perfect study" for the version in Chicago.
André Maurois. "French Art." Studio 120 (August 1940), p. 37, ill., calls it one of Seurat's two "grandest pictures".
John Rewald. Georges Seurat. [2nd, revised ed. 1946; French ed. 1948]. New York, 1943, pp. 20–21, fig. 71 [2nd, rev. ed., 1946, p. 20, fig. 71; French ed., 1948, p. 54, fig. 50], dates it 1884–85; discusses the evolution of the composition; believes many of the drawings were completed in the studio.
Lionello Venturi. "The Art of Seurat." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 26 (July 1944), pp. 426–27, fig. 5, refers to it as the definite study; compares the treatment of landscape in with that in the study once owned by Chester Beatty (now Whitney collection, New York).
Hans Huth. "Impressionism Comes to America." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 29 (April 1946), p. 239 n. 22, suggests that this may be the study for the "Grande Jatte" that was exhibited in 1886 in New York at the American Art Association and the National Academy of Design [see Notes].
Seurat, 1859–1891: Paintings and Drawings. Exh. cat., Knoedler Galleries. New York, 1949, unpaginated; no. 7, ill.
John Rewald. Seurat (1859–1891). [1st ed.]. Paris, [1949?], unpaginated, pl. 25, dates it 1884–85.
Howard Devree. "Seurat the Unique." New York Times (April 24, 1949), p. X9, discusses the exhibition at Knoedler.
"What They Said"-Postscript to Art Criticism. Exh. cat., Durand-Ruel Gallery. New York, 1949, unpaginated; no. 7, ill.
Margaret Breuning. "Seurat Exhibition Benefits the Blind." Art Digest 23 (April 15, 1949), p. 14, ill., believes the painting reveals Seurat's ability to create a harmonious totality.
Lionello Venturi. Impressionists and Symbolists. Vol. 2, New York, 1950, p. 145, fig. 147 [French ed., "De Manet à Lautrec", Paris, 1953, p. 193, ill.], dates it 1884–85; refers to it as the definitive sketch for the final composition; comments on the atmosphere and the "phantom" quality of the figures.
Jacques de Laprade. Seurat. Paris, 1951, ill. p. 49, dates it 1885.
Aline B. Louchheim. "Sam Lewisohn and His Legacy to Art." New York Times (March 25, 1951), p. 85, states that Lewisohn purchased it for $6,200 in 1919.
Raymond Cogniat. Seurat. Paris, [1951?], pl. 13 [see Ref. Dorra and Rewald 1959].
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, pp. 233–34, no. 150, ill. (color), dates it 1884; hails it as an innovative combination of Impressionistic subject matter and a disciplined method of execution.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 90.
James Thrall Soby. De David à Toulouse-Lautrec: Chefs-d'œuvre des collections américaines. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. Paris, 1955, unpaginated, no. 51, pl. 89.
Giulia Veronesi. "Saluto alla Francia." Emporium 122 (September 1955), pp. 119–21, ill. (detail).
Paul Bonnet. "Seurat et le Neo-Impressionnisme." Le Crocodile: Bulletin de l'Association Générale de l'Internat des Hospices Civils de Lyon (October–December 1957), pp. 11, 14, 22 [see Ref. de Hauke 1961].
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 106.
Daniel Catton Rich, ed. Seurat: Paintings and Drawings. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1958, pp. 14, 31, 59, no. 100, ill.
John O'Connell Kerr. "Seurat the Silent Post-Impressionist." The Studio 155 (May 1958), pp. 129–31, ill.
Marvin D. Schwartz. "News and Views from New York." Apollo 67 (May 1958), p. 180, fig. II.
Henri Dorra and John Rewald. Seurat: L'œuvre peint, biographie et catalogue critique. Paris, 1959, p. LXXVI n. 59d, pp. LXXXV, 150–51, no. 138, ill.
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. rev., enl. ed. New York, 1961, ill. p. 513.
C. M. de Hauke. Seurat et son œuvre. Paris, 1961, vol. 1, pp. 94–95, 197, 200, 231, 234, 238, 273, 285, no. 142, ill., does not include it in the 1892 exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants [see Exhibitions], but does include it in the 1886 New York Impressionist exhibition [see Notes]; reproduces gallery installation photographs showing this picture on the wall in the 1949 Knoedler exhibition and the 1958 Chicago exhibition.
William Innes Homer. Seurat and the Science of Painting. Cambridge, Mass., 1964, pp. 123,125, fig. 35, believes this study reveals how the final version appeared before it was reworked in the summer of 1885.
John Russell. Seurat. New York, 1965, pp. 164–65, colorpl. 151.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 194–97, ill., date it 1885, one year before the painting in Chicago; believe it to be the study that is nearest to the final work, yet cite its color as more intense, the light as more rich, and the observation of nature as more direct; conclude that, overall, it contains a higher level of sensitivity and intimacy, something most apparent when compared to the imposing grandeur of the Chicago version.
James Laver. "Fashion, Art, and Beauty." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 26 (November 1967), ill. p. 126, dates it about 1885.
Margaretta M. Salinger. "Windows Open to Nature." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (Summer 1968), unpaginated, ill.
Robert L. Herbert. Neo-Impressionism. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 1968, pp. 112–13, no. 76, ill. (color), argues that its color is closer to Seurat's original intentions, as the Chicago painting was composed with unstable pigments that faded with time; compares the underpainting of the final version to this composition; incorrectly states that it was exhibited at Durand-Ruel, New York, in 1886.
Pierre Courthion. Georges Seurat. 1st ed. New York, , pp. 106–7, ill. (color), discusses the alteration of several compositional details between this sketch and the final version in Chicago.
Edith A. Standen inMasterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. New York, , p. 86, ill. (color).
Niels Luning Prak. "Seurat's Surface Pattern and Subject Matter." Art Bulletin 53 (September 1971), p. 367, fig. 2 (detail).
Louis Hautecœur. Georges Seurat. Milan, 1972, ill. p. 5 (color), fig. 51.
Fiorella Minervino inL'opera completa di Seurat. [1st, French ed., 1973]. Milan, 1972, pp. 99–101, no. 141, ill. p. 100, colorpl. XIX B.
Iku Takenaka et al. Seurat et le néo-impressionnisme. [Tokyo], 1972, p. 116, no. 31, ill. (color and black and white).
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. 4th rev. ed. New York, 1973, ill. p. 513.
Mitsuhiko Kuroe. Pissarro/Sisley/Seurat. Tokyo, 1973, p. 140, no. 58, ill. (overall, color and black and white, and color detail).
Carl R. Baldwin. The Impressionist Epoch. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [New York], 1974, p. 19, states that almost all of the figures in the final painting are also present in the MMA picture, but that in the latter they are informally arranged.
100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum [in Russian]. Exh. cat., State Hermitage Museum, Leningrad. Moscow, 1975, pp. 200–202, no. 75, ill. (color).
John Matheson inVom Licht zur Farbe. Exh. cat., Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf, 1977, p. 106, no. 104, ill. p. 11 (color).
[Sarane] Alexandrian. Seurat. New York, 1980, p. 34.
R[obert]. L. Herbert. Letter to Denise McColgan. August 1, 1980, notes that the title with which Seurat originally exhibited his "Grand Jatte" does not mention the time of day, and observes that it appears to be late morning or midday rather than the afternoon.
Claudia Gianferrari, ed. Metropolitan Museum, New York. Milan, 1983, pp. 78–79, 155, colorpl. 89.
Erich Franz and Bernd Growe. Georges Seurat, Zeichnungen. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Munich, 1983, p. 83.
Sylvie Gache-Patin. Sisley. Paris, 1983, p. 71, fig. 94, reproduces it along with paintings by Monet (Musée Marmottan, Paris) and Sisley (Musée d'Orsay, Paris) of the same subject.
Charles F. Stuckey. Seurat. Mount Vernon, N.Y., 1984, p. 16, colorpl. 4, remarks that the study incorporates the culmination of over one dozen drawings.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 224–25, 254–55, ill. (color).
Richard Thomson. Seurat. Oxford, 1985, pp. 102–3, 106, 109, 124, colorpl. 117, believes it was painted late in 1884; notes that the landscape is more expressive than in the final picture because of the use of "balayé" strokes and employment of color contrasts; observes that it served the purpose of establishing the color relationships and fundamental compositional structure that would later be employed in the Chicago picture, despite the fact that many adjustments were made between the two; believes the drawing "Man Standing By a Tree" is the intermediary work between this canvas and the painting in Chicago.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, pp. 9, 68, colorpl. 46.
Richard R. Brettell. French Impressionists. Chicago, 1987, p. 89.
Herbert Wotte. Georges Seurat: Wesen, Werk, Wirkung. Dresden, 1988, p. 216, colorpl. 54.
William C. Agee. "Walter Pach and Modernism: A Sampler from New York, Paris, and Mexico City." Archives of American Art Journal 28, no. 3 (1988), pp. 4, 10 n. 14, identifies it as the work shown at Exh. New York 1916.
John Rewald with the research assistance of Frances Weitzenhoffer. Cézanne and America: Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics, 1891–1921. The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Princeton, 1989, p. 325.
Richard Thomson. "The 'Grande Jatte': Notes on Drawing and Meaning." Museum Studies 14 (1989), p. 195, colorpl. 26, notes that on the left side of the painting there are imbalances of scale between the figures that do not occur on the right.
MaryAnne Stevens inThe Passionate Eye: Impressionist and Other Master Paintings from the Collection of Emil G. Bührle, Zurich. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Zürich, 1990, pp. 182, 241 n. 6, under no. 64.
John Rewald. Seurat: A Biography. New York, 1990, p. 72, ill. (color).
Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat. Seurat. New York, 1990, pp. 63, 65, ill. (color).
Catherine Grenier. Seurat: Catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1990, p. 83, colorpl. 140.
Michael F. Zimmermann. Seurat and the Art Theory of His Time. Antwerp, 1991, pp. 143, 182, 193–95, colorpl. 350, ill. p. 134 (color detail) [French ed., "Les mondes de Seurat", Paris, pp. 142, 182, 193–95, colorpl. 350, ill. p. 134 (color detail)].
Robert L. Herbert et al. Georges Seurat, 1859–1891. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pp. 66, 128, 170, 172–73, 188, 208–11, 220, 223–24, 227, 312, 376, 383–84, no. 141, ill. (color, overall and details, and x-ray) [French ed., "Seurat", Paris, pp. 165, 207, 226, 242, 244–49, 424, no. 139, ill. (color, overall and details, x-ray)].
Richard Tilston. Seurat. London, 1991, pp. 88–89, ill. (color).
John Russell. "French Show Finally Gives Seurat His Due." New York Times (April 16, 1991), p. C11.
John Russell. "Paris, Grand Palais: Seurat." Burlington Magazine 133 (July 1991), p. 478, fig. 59.
Floyd Ratliff. Paul Signac and Color in Neo-Impressionism. New York, 1992, pp. 164–65, fig. 77 (color).
Sarah Carr-Gomm. Seurat. London, 1993, p. 22–23, ill. (color).
Matthias Waschek inIn Perfect Harmony: Picture + Frame, 1850–1920. Ed. Eva Mendgen. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum. Amsterdam, 1995, pp. 158, 260 n. 31, fig. 134 (color), notes that Seurat painted the border on this work after the image had already been completed, using a new stretcher and painting on canvas which had previously been folded over the old one.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 500, ill. p. 501.
John Leighton and Richard Thomson. Seurat and the Bathers. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 1997, pp. 136, 158, colorpl. 159, call it the third study for the "Grande Jatte," and remark that although it contains almost all of the details found in the finished painting, certain elements of the composition, particularly the figures, are still in flux.
Paul Smith. Seurat and the Avant-Garde. New Haven, 1997, pp. 19, 21, 44, 48, figs. 5, 26 (color, overall and detail), 27 (diagram), calls it the final study for the painting in Chicago; states that a grid used to gage proportions can be detected under the surface, and that details of the composition reveal Seurat's usage of a complimentary color scheme; believes that the decorative effect achieved from the original paint in the final version can be detected in the study.
Albert Schug inPointillismus: Auf den Spuren von Georges Seurat. Exh. cat., Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne. Munich, 1997, pp. 15–17, ill. (color details).
Richard R. Brettell. "Martha Ward: Pissarro, Neo-Impressionism, and the Spaces of the Avant-Garde." Art Bulletin 81 (March 1999), p. 171.
Peter Paquet. Helldunkel, Raum und Form: Georges Seurat als Zeichner. Frankfurt am Main, 2000, pp. 153–55, 160, 353, 443.
Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Modern Art Comes to the Metropolitan: The 1921 Exhibition of 'Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings'." Apollo 152 (October 2000), pp. 5, 8, 12, fig. 6 (color).
Prof. Dr. Michel Draguet. Signac, Seurat: Le néo-impressionnisme. Paris, 2001, ill. p. 24 (color, cropped).
Robert L. Herbert. Seurat: Drawings and Paintings. New Haven, 2001, pp. 84, 102–4, colorpl. 82, states that it was completed in the summer or fall of 1884, months before the final painting was first exhibited in the spring of 1885; relates that the canvas was stretched after its completion to allow room for the addition of a painted border.
Laura Iamurri. "Gli appunti di viaggio di Lionello Venturi, 1932–1935." Storia dell'arte no. 101 (2002), pp. 96–98 n. 17, discusses it in the context of the writing of Lionello Venturi.
Robert L. Herbert et al. Seurat and the Making of "La Grande Jatte". Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 2004, pp. 12, 19 n. 2, pp. 25, 68, 84, 116, 146, 178–79, 183–84, 186–88, 191, 194 n. 13, p. 195 nn. 17, 22–23, 26–28, pp. 197, 235, 265, 270, no. 64, ill. pp. 4–5 (color detail), 81 (color), figs. 3, 8, 12–14, 17–19, 31–33, state that it was completed in the autumn or early winter of 1884, and that there were many adjustments to the composition made before the completion of the final painting; discuss the development of the composition, as revealed through x-ray analysis, and suggest that Seurat worked on it at the same time as the Chicago painting; reproduce Seurat's letter of June 20, 1890 to Félix Fénéon [see Ref. Seurat 1890].
Sylvie Patry inLe Néo-impressionnisme de Seurat à Paul Klee. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 2005, pp. 142–43, ill. (color).
Isabelle Cahn inLe Néo-impressionnisme de Seurat à Paul Klee. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 2005, p. 64, ill. p. 62 (color detail).
Perrin Stein. French Drawings from the British Museum: Clouet to Seurat. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. London, 2005, p. 214, under no. 92, fig. 1.
Pierre Rosenberg. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Milan, 2006, p. 190.
Gary Tinterow inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, p. 11.
Susan Alyson Stein inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 151, 255–56, no. 111, ill. (color and black and white).
Susan Alyson Stein inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 177, 302–3, no. 165, ill. (color and black and white).
Eric Alliez with the collaboration of Jean-Clet Martin. L'oeil-cerveau: nouvelles histoires de la peinture moderne. Paris, 2007, p. 259 n.1 [English ed., "The Brain-Eye: New Histories of Modern Painting," London, 2016, p. 242 n. 124], states that it exhibits a greater chromatic sensibility than the final painting.
Laurette E. McCarthy in Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf. Cézanne and American Modernism. Exh. cat., Montclair Art Museum. Montclair, 2009, p. 264 n. 14.
Seurat Re-viewed. Ed. Paul Smith. University Park, Pa., 2009, colorpl. 17.
Paul Smith inSeurat Re-viewed. Ed. Paul Smith. University Park, Pa., 2009, p. 203, notes that it is more complicated chromatically and texturally than the final painting but "less successfully integrated as a consequence".
Gottfried Boehm inGeorges Seurat: Figure in Space. Ed. Christoph Becker and Julia Burckhardt Bild. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. Ostfildern, 2009, p. 86, fig. 2 (color).
Gloria Groom inImpressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012 [French ed. only, "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, p. 53].
Helen Burnham inImpressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, p. 269, ill. p. 267 (color) [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, p. 286, ill. p. 293 (color)], discusses the fashions worn by the female figures at right and at far left as well as the changes in the fashions between the MMA and Chicago pictures.
Impressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, p. 297, no. 136, ill. (color) [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, p. 301, no. 191], mistakenly includes it among works on view in Chicago.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, pp. 446, 450, no. 391, ill. pp. 396–97, 446 (color, overall and detail).
Susan Alyson Stein inSeurat's Circus Sideshow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2017, p. 129.
Charlotte Hale and Silvia A. Centeno inSeurat's Circus Sideshow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2017, p. 126 nn. 3, 7, p. 128 n. 27, note that the artist used a grid to organize the composition and restretched the canvas in both The Met's picture and the final Chicago version.
Colta Ives. Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2018, pp. 66, 188, ill. p. 24, fig. 65 (color, overall and detail).
Isabelle Cahn inFélix Fénéon: Critique, collectionneur, anarchiste. Ed. Isabelle Cahn and Philippe Peltier. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. Paris, 2019, fig. 38 (color).
Félix Fénéon: Critique, collectionneur, anarchiste. Ed. Isabelle Cahn and Philippe Peltier. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. Paris, 2019, p. 287, unnumbered cat., colorpl. 38.
Isabelle Cahn inFélix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 2020, pp. 54, 232, colorpl. 2.
Robert O’Byrne. "From the Archives." Apollo 191 (January 2020), p. 98, ill. (color), notes its inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s debut exhibition.
Roberta Smith. "Félix Fénéon, the Collector-Anarchist Who Was Seurat's First Champion." New York Times (August 27, 2020), ill. (color) [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/arts/design/moma-reopens-felix-feneon.html], erroneously states that Seurat gave this study to Félix Fénéon, as the artist was pleased with the critic's writing on his work.
This is the definitive study (Dorra and Rewald 138; de Hauke 142) for the large painting exhibited at the 8th Impressionist exhibition of 1886, and now in the Art Institute of Chicago (DR139; H162). Seurat made numerous preparatory drawings and small oil sketches on panel for the Chicago painting, as well as at least three larger studies on canvas: the present picture, a study for the landscape, without figures, in the collection of Mrs. John Hay Whitney, New York (DR116; H131), and a detail of the standing couple at right (DR136; H138) in the Keynes Collection, King's College, Cambridge, on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum. The Met also owns a smaller sketch (DR113; H117; The Met 1975.1.207) for the background of the composition.
The island of La Grande Jatte, a popular recreation spot in Seurat's time, lies in the Seine to the northwest of Paris, near the suburbs of Asnières and Courbevoie.
In a draft of a letter to Félix Fénéon (see Seurat 1890 and Herbert 1991), Seurat insists that both the Chicago canvas and the studies were begun on Ascension Day, May 22, 1884. Herbert believes that the painted studies were probably completed before December of 1884, when one of them was included in an exhibition.
Huth (1946) suggests that either this picture or the landscape study in the Whitney collection was included in the 1886 New York Impressionist exhibition as "Island Grande Jatte, Study, 1884". This exhibition opened at the American Art Association Galleries on April 10, 1886, and moved to the National Academy of Design on May 25 of the same year. There is no mention in the catalogue of a picture with this title, although the Chicago painting was included as no. 112, "Island Grande Jatte." De Hauke (1961) lists this painting as having been included in the exhibition "hors catalogue", although he gives the wrong date and erroneously states the first venue as the Durand-Ruel Gallery.
Assistant Curator Alison Hokanson introduces a bevy of temporary loans on view in August in the nineteenth-century European Paintings galleries, as well as the first installation of all sixteen of the European Paintings department's Van Gogh paintings in several years.
Publishing and Marketing Assistant Rachel High sits down with curator emerita Colta Ives to discuss the transformation of Paris during the nineteenth century into a city of tree-lined boulevards and public parks.
Actor Telly Leung, known for his work on Glee and star of the upcoming Broadway production of Allegiance, takes visitors on a tour of his favorite works of art in the Museum as he gains inspiration for his performance at the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration on May 22.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.