Georges Seurat died in 1891, aged only 32, and yet in a career that lasted little more than a decade he revolutionized technique in painting, spearheaded a new movement, Neoimpressionism, and bought a degree of scientific rigour to his investigations of colour that would prove profoundly influential well into the 20th century. As a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Seurat read Chevreul's 1839 book on the theory of colour and this, along with his own analysis of Delacroix' paintings and the aesthetic observations of scientist Charles Henry, led him to formulate the concept of Divisionism. This was a method of painting around colour contrasts in which shade and tone are built up through dots of paint (pointillism) that emphasise the complex inter-relation of light and shadow. Two paintings more than any others reflect his investigations in this area - 1884's "Bathers at Asnieres" and 1886's "A Sunday Afternoon at the Ile de La Grande Jatte". Their impact was immediate and enormous. Opposed to any popularization of his theories, he only relented in 1890 and agreed to the publication of a summary volume. However, by then he had just a year to live.
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Hajo Düchting studied art history, philosophy, and archaeology in Munich, where he gained his doctorate in 1981 with a thesis on Robert Delaunay’s Windows series. After working in museum and adult education, he moved on to teaching posts and guest professorships at the universities of Munich, Kassel, Leipzig, Saarbrücken, and Mainz. Düchting has published numerous articles on the art of the modern era, color theory, and the teaching of art, and has authored a number of TASCHEN titles, including Paul Cézanne, Wassily Kandinsky, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, and Georges Seurat.Language Notes:
Original Language: French
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