French painter, Georges Seurat, was a Neo-Impressionist leader in the late 19th century. Unlike the broad brushstrokes of the Impressionists, Seurat created his own personal technique with the creation of “pointillism.” Seurat accomplished much in his short career, and is considered an artistic pioneer of his time.
Georges-Pierre Seurat was born in Paris on December 2, 1859. He lived a modest childhood, as his father was a legal official and his mother came from a prosperous middle-class Parisian family.
Seurat showed artistic promise at a young age as he began to draw when he was quite young. In 1875, he took a course with sculptor Justin Lequien.
His artist studies continued as he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1878 and 1879. While at the institute, the young Seurat developed appreciation for and was strongly influenced by the works of Rembrandt and Francisco de Goya.
In November of 1879, Seurat’s military service started in Brest. He reportedly spent all of his free time drawing and reading on theories of color and vision.
He returned to Paris in 1880. It was during this decade that critics agree that Seurat painted his most important works. One of these includes the widely recognized A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884).
Seurat's first official exhibition at the Salon in Paris took place in 1883.
In 1884, after his painting Une Baignade, Asnieres was refused by the jury at the Salon, Seurat exhibited with the foundation of the Groupe des Artistes Independants. This organization consisted of a group of artists who promoted the development of modern art.
After he was an established artist, Seurat produced one large canvas a year. He created a total of seven monumental paintings throughout the course of his short career. Along with this he produced 60 smaller paintings.
In 1887, Seurat began working on his final large composition entitled Les Poseuses.
In 1890, Seurat began to work on what became his final painting, Le Cirque. Although the painting was incomplete, Seurat exhibited it at the Salon des Independants. While Seurat helped organize the exhibit, however, he became ill due to exhaustion.
Before the exhibit ended, Georges Seurat died on March 29, 1891 at the young age of 31, ending a prominent career that showed future promise.