40. G. SEURAT: The Stove in Seurat's Studio, Study for "Les Poseuses," 1887.

Seurat's Theories

IN a conversation with Gustave Kahn, Seurat once defined painting as the art of hollowing a surface. At the same time he explained that while the science of aesthetics was not the whole story, since there were intimate elements in art, even in its technique, which only the painter himself could recognize and deal with, for his part he was convinced of the absolute need to base his theories on scientific truths.100

While Seurat the painter was indivisible from Seurat the theorist, there are certain sayings of his that may be considered to spring from the one rather than the other. It was Seurat the painter who said that he could only paint what he saw before his eyes101 and declared that the drawing was the fundamental element in painting, and also that harmony of color should flow from harmony of line. But it was Seurat the theorist who attempted to generalize the laws of color and line.

-57-

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Georges Seurat
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Table of Contents ix
  • List of Illustrations xi
  • Introduction xvii
  • The Beginning 1
  • Salon Des Indéependants 13
  • A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 19
  • The Eighth Exhibition of the Impressionists 27
  • Félix Fénéon and the Neo-Impressionists 33
  • New Exhibitions: New York, Paris, Brussels 37
  • Seurat and His Friends 43
  • Seurat's Theories 57
  • Praise and Dispraise 63
  • The Last Works 69
  • Notes 75
  • Bibliography 119
  • Index 124
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