Georges Seurat - Peasant with Hoe 1882

Peasant with Hoe 1882
Peasant with Hoe
1882 46x56cm oil/canvas
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

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Johannes Vermeer - The Girl with a Pearl Earring 1665. It is not a portrait, but a ‘tronie’ – a painting of an imaginary figure. Tronies depict a certain type or character; in this case a girl in exotic dress, wearing an oriental turban and an improbably large pearl in her ear.

From Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York:
Georges Seurat's vibrant and harmonious images, comprising distinct daubs of complementary color, revolutionized painting. Born in Paris, Seurat entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1878. He rapidly elaborated a personal idiom fed by 19th-century scientific theories of chromatics, optics, and physiological perception espoused by such thinkers as Michel-Eugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood, and Charles Henry, respectively. In 1881, he began a series of rural studies to which the Guggenheim's paintings appertain. He was largely inspired by the peasant imagery of Barbizon painter Jean-François Millet, and his crosshatched brushstrokes in these small works of agrarian life belie his incipient experiments with the division of color. A master draftsman, he created contemporaneous conté crayon drawings that capitalize on the textured surface of the paper to create zones of light and dark in eerily evocative images, as with the twilit Place de la Concorde, Winter. Seurat's investigations led to a more developed exploitation of contrasting color in 1884 with his transitional Bathers at Asnières. He eventually called his technique chromoluminarism, because the juxtaposition of individual hues elicited greater light effects, while contemporary critics christened it Pointillism or Neo-Impressionism.