by Scholes, Robert
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Georges Seurat (1859 - 1891)
He was born in Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1878 and 1879, studying with Henri Lehmann. There he made friends with Edmond Aman-Jean, another young painter, with whom he later shared a studio. After a year of military service at Brest, Seurat exhibited his drawing Aman-Jean at the official Salon in 1883. Panels from his painting Une Baignade, Asnières ( Bathing at Asnieres) were refused by the Salon the next year, so Seurat and several other artists, including Paul Signac, founded the Societé des Artistes Independants. His famous canvas Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was the centerpiece of an exhibition in 1886. In this painting he developed a new style which became the basis of an artistic movement, called variously Neo-Impressionism, Pointillism or Divisionism. Seurat and Signac were the leading figures in this movement. Most art historians like to ignore the fact that the movement had a strong political coloration--and that color was anarchistic.