French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman
Georges Pierre Seurat was born on December 2, 1859, in Paris. Seurat was introduced to painting by an uncle on his mother's side, the textile dealer Paul Hautmonté-Faivre, himself an amateur painter. During 1875-1877, Seurat attended a drawing class taught by the sculptor Justin Lequien at a night school in the city. There he made friends with Edmond Aman-Jean. In 1878, Seurat was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts, together with Aman-Jean, and joined the painting class taught by Henri Lehmann, a pupil of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Seurat studied the old masters in the Louvre. In 1879, he left the École des Beaux-Arts and, together with Aman-Jean and Ernest Laurent, rented a studio in Rue de I'Arbalète and the two artists made numerous trips into the environs of Paris. In 1883, for the first and only time, Seurat was represented in the official Salon by a drawing of Aman-Jean. That same year, Seurat met Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In 1884, the Salon rejected Seurat's first large painting, Bathers at Asnières. In May, however, it was shown in the exhibition held by the Société des Artistes Indépendants. It was here that Seurat became acquainted with Paul Signac, with whom he soon became a close friend. In December he exhibited with the Indépendants the first studies for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, his materpiece which he completed in 1885. In 1886, Seurat exhibited La Grande Jatte at the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition. The art critic Félix Fénéon subsequently wrote an informed analysis of Seurat's technique and style. At Signac's instigation, those artists using the pointillist technique formed themselves into a group of Neo-Impressionists; they included Albert Dubois-Pillet, Charles Angrand, Maximilien Luce and, for a short period, Camille and Lucien Pissarro. He died on March 29, 1891.