Study for "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte"

Artist: Georges Seurat (French, Paris 1859–1891 Paris)

Date: 1884

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 27 3/4 x 41 in. (70.5 x 104.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951

Accession Number: 51.112.6


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.