Georges Seurat Picture Study Aid and Art Prints

(12 customer reviews)

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Georges Seurat Picture Study Aid

Included in this 27-page Georges Seurat Picture Study Aid (download a sample Charlotte Mason Picture Study Aid here!) is the following:

  • a summary of the early life and artistic inspirations of French, Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat (1859-1891).
  • a synopsis of seven of his works (see right).
  • resources for additional reading can be found in the Living Art Book Archive.
  • printable versions of the pieces covered in the digital download PDF version.
  • a brief discussion about Charlotte Mason’s ideas and methods for implementing picture study at different ages is also included.
  • the printed book is saddle-stitched with high-quality, 100-lb., smooth paper and full color.

There is also an option to order separate, high quality, professionally-printed copies of each piece for use during your picture study time in the drop-down menu below as well. These are printed on durable card

The pieces discussed* are:

  • The Stone Breakers, Le Raincy
    (ca. 1882 – Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California)
  • Aman-Jean (Portrait of Edmond François Aman-Jean)
    (1882-1883 – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City)
  • Bathers at Asnières
    (1884 – National Gallery, London)
  • A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884
    (or A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
    1884-1886 – Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois)
  • Seascape at Port-en-Bessin, Normandy
    (1888 – National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.)
  • Port-en-Bessin
    (1888 – Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • The Circus
    (1891 – Musée d’Orsay, Paris)

*AmblesideOnline users, please note that these are not all the same pieces as those selected for the AmblesideOnline artist rotation.

The inability of some critics to connect the dots doesn’t make pointillism pointless.

Georges Seurat

The 19th century was a time of artistic revolution. The Impressionists reacted against earlier movements dramatically, almost to a point that had never been seen before. And as later generations react to earlier generations, Impressionism also had its “wayward children.” When the novelty of painting the world in light and color rather than form began to wear away, French artist Georges Seurat arrived on the scene with his Neo-Impressionistic dots. He gave the world Pointillism.

​Ironically, even within the more avant-garde art community, his art was an enigma. After his Bathers at Asnières was rejected by the official Salon of 1884, it was accepted by the Salon des Indépendants, but relegated to display near the canteen. Most members of the art world didn’t quite know what to make of his dots. Fortunately, later artists like Paul Signac, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent van Gogh, saw beauty in his work, and it led to even more additions to the world of art through their hands.

What I learned while writing this Picture Study Aid was that his mind was more scientific than artistic (he is credited with saying, “They see poetry in what I have done. No. I apply my methods, and that is all there is to it.”). He saw the world in combinations of color and, after studying more traditional forms of art at the École des Beaux-Arts, he was fascinated by the newer writings about color theory that were coming out at the time detailing how the brain uses “optical mixing” to blend colors, and even make them appear more brilliant. His use of color attests to his deep fascination with what he learned

During his very short life, he explored these ideas and theories to an infinitesimal degree through his painting technique…..literally. He made many studies, or small panel “oil sketches” of his subjects, including his most famous painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884, before working on the final canvas.

What I like about Seurat’s techniques, his conté crayon drawings, and his paintings beyond his magnum opus – A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884 – is their calmness. As I was looking at painting after painting of beaches and grassy knolls and boats and trees and individual figures placidly going about their days (often along the River Seine), even, to a certain extent, in the circus paintings, everything just felt calm. And in our world of chaos, calm feels good.

The intention of this George Seurat Picture Study Aid is to equip the home educator with some basic facts and understanding of a sampling of the work of this 18th-century artist. It is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis or study of each piece or a complete biography of the artist.

About picture study, Ms. Mason recommended keeping learning as simple as possible, especially in the younger years, and put extra emphasis on the images by themselves.

There is no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman. (vol 6 pg 216)

Definite teaching is out of the question; suitable ideas are easily given, and a thoughtful love of Art inspired by simple natural talk over the picture at which the child is looking. (PR Article “Picture Talks”)

…we begin now to understand that art is not to be approached by such an acadamised road. It is of the spirit, and in ways of the spirit must we make our attempt. We recognise that the power of appreciating art and of producing to some extent an interpretation of what one sees is as universal as intelligence, imagination, nay, speech, the power of producing words. But there must be knowledge and, in the first place, not the technical knowledge of how to produce, but some reverent knowledge of what has been produced; that is, children should learn pictures, line by line, group by group, by reading, not books, but pictures themselves. A friendly picture-dealer supplies us with half a dozen beautiful little reproductions of the work of some single artist, term by term. After a short story of the artist’s life and a few sympathetic words about his trees or his skies, his river-paths or his figures, the little pictures are studied one at a time; that is, children learn, not merely to see a picture but to look at it, taking in every detail.” (vol 6 pg 214)

This Georges Seurat Picture Study Aid is meant to offer basic information about the artists as well as ready answers should your student ask about a particular aspect of a piece and the explanation isn’t readily evident. Ms. Mason emphasized not focusing on strict academic discourse when doing picture study, but rather simply exposing students to the art itself:

His education should furnish him with whole galleries of mental pictures, pictures by great artists old and new;––…––in fact, every child should leave school with at least a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of his imagination, to say nothing of great buildings, sculpture, beauty of form and colour in things he sees. Perhaps we might secure at least a hundred lovely landscapes too,––sunsets, cloudscapes, starlight nights. At any rate he should go forth well furnished because imagination has the property of magical expansion, the more it holds the more it will hold. (vol 6 pg 43)

12 reviews for Georges Seurat Picture Study Aid and Art Prints

5.0 Rating
1-5 of 12 reviews
  1. I’m so pleased with my prints. They are high quality, were shipped quickly, and at such a great price. They have brought great value to our days.

  2. I love the way the artist’s study is set up. The artist’s biography and artwork research makes picture study a breeze. The pictures are also of high quality. Always impressed when we receive our order. Thank you!

  3. Beautiful guides and prints!

  4. Beautiful content. Quick shipping.

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