More about A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

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Many people's reputations are based on a single moment in their lives. For Georges Seurat, this painting was that moment.

Perhaps it was the time you stood up in front of the school and something slightly racist slipped out, or maybe it was the time you saved a puppy from a tragic encounter with a car, but it is in these moments that the world cultivates perceptions about us. Forevermore, because of this iconic painting, Seurat will always be remembered as the dude who loved dots.

The Island of La Grande Jatte is located on the edge of Paris and was a hot getaway spot for the elitist bourgeoisie. It was the hip place to lounge, fish, and pick up prostitutes. Apparently it is also a cool place to walk your monkey on a leash. And show off that new dress that makes you look like Nicki Minaj. 

This painting is the most cherished example the world has of "pointillism." Some call this method scientific, others, neurotic. Quite frankly, I would call it both. Pointillism is based on the tenants of cognitive perception. Seurat believed that instead of muting colors by mixing them, if two colors were placed next to each other, our eyes would do the mixin' for us! Sound like he was trying to cut corners, but really this technique is painstakingly slow and requires a level of obsessive patience that few possess. Perhaps this is why it took Seurat two years of intensive work to complete this painting.

This work is NEVER leaving the Art Institute. It was once lent to the Museum of Modern Art in 1958 and almost burned in a devastating fire that took numerous other paintings, including one of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, and a human life.

References to this cherished painting can be seen all over the place, from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, to the hit TV show The Office...and it was even the inspiration for a 1974 Playboy magazine cover (slightly NSFW). Who knew Heff was such an art fan?

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Here is what Wikipedia says about A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (French: Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte), painted from 1884 to 1886 and in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, is Georges Seurat's most famous work. A leading example of pointillist technique, executed on a large canvas, it is a founding work of the neo-impressionist movement. Seurat's composition includes a number of Parisians at a park on the banks of the River Seine.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte