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The Technique of Seurat: A Reappraisal

John Gage
The Art Bulletin
Vol. 69, No. 3 (Sep., 1987), pp. 448-454
Published by: College Art Association
DOI: 10.2307/3051065
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3051065
Page Count: 7
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The Technique of Seurat: A Reappraisal
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Abstract

The standard studies of Seurat's technique have tended to treat it as a straight-forward exemplification of a body of color theory current in his day, and have glossed over several anomalies in the interpretation of that theory, both by the artist and by his critics. This essay proposes to re-open the question of Seurat's attitude towards his theoretical sources, and examines the way in which his practice in the major paintings of the mid-1880s can be related to them. It concludes that Seurat's debt to Chevreul was farther reaching than his debt to any more recent theorist, and this must have an effect on our reading of his technique as "scientific."

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