Georges Seurat (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Seurat became one of the most perceptive imagists of the modern city and its inhabitants in the late nineteenth century. His great curiosity about new developments in technology and the sciences transformed his art into one based increasingly upon scientific and pseudoscientific theories, something valued highly by twentieth century modern movements. His work may be seen also as a prophecy of surface abstraction and grand decoration.
Georges Seurat was born in Paris in 1859. His father, Chrysostome-Antoine Seurat, a legal official, retired at age forty-two and lived apart from his wife, Ernestine, and their three children. Seurat saw his father each week at dinner at his mother’s apartment on the boulevard de Magenta in Paris. His parents’ marriage has been described as advantageous, respectably bourgeois, and comfortable but dreary.
Seurat shared his mother’s strong and regular features as well as the precision and diligence with which she applied herself undemonstratively to tasks at hand. With his father, Seurat shared a quiet, serious, even distant mien. Very little is known of Seurat’s childhood, and he was difficult to get to know as a man. Most reminiscences from his friends or colleagues are consistent in their inability to penetrate the artist’s personality. It is debatable, however, whether Seurat’s private nature was abnormal. In his dedication to work, he...
(The entire section is 2215 words.)
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