Seurat's Painting Practice: Theory, Development and Technology

Jo Kirby, Kate Stonor, Ashok Roy, Aviva Burnstock, Rachel Grout and Raymond White
Technical Bulletin Volume 24, 2003

Abstract

Georges Seurat's work is distinguished by the artist's interest in colour and aesthetic theories. Seurat's education as well as his academic training is reviewed. The influence of Impressionist artists and Delacroix is examined. Seurat's interest in colour theory, optical theory, and aesthetic theory is presented. The precise role of colour in the artist's work is considered in relation to his drawings, painted sketches, and finished paintings in the collections of the National Gallery and Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Relationships of colour as well as colour combinations and mixtures are discussed in terms of colour theory. The techniques of applying paint in directional or divisionist brushstrokes is related to developments in Seurat's aesthetic choices throughout his career. The results of the technical examination of Seurat's works are presented in tabular form. Table 1 includes information about the supports, sizing, and priming layers. Tables 2 and 3 present the identification of pigments and paint media from the works examined.

Keywords 

art history, artists' materials, binder, colour theory, neo-impressionist, painting techniques, perception, pigment, pointillism, post-impressionist, Seurat

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Seurat's Painting Practice: Theory, Development and Technology, Jo Kirby, Kate Stonor, Ashok Roy, Aviva Burnstock, Rachel Grout and Raymond White (PDF 25.77MB)

 

 

To cite this article we suggest using

Kirby, J., Stonor, K., Roy, A., Burnstock, A., Grout, R., White, R. 'Seurat's Painting Practice: Theory, Development and Technology'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 24, pp 4–37.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/kirby_stonor_roy_burnstock_grout_white2003


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