Published: May 13, 2019

Georges Seurat “Circus”, description of the painting

The picture “Circus” Seurat couldn't finish on its own. It's only been a little more than a week after the opening of the exhibition, and suddenly the message – the artist died. The neo-impressionist Maximilian Luce proceeded to finish the canvas. The exact cause of death Seurat never finds out. According to the diagnoses established by the doctors, he died of several diseases (diphtheria, infective endocarditis, pneumonia, meningitis).
Georges Seurat “Circus”, description of the painting

The composition of the painting “Circus” is not as complicated as “Kankan”. The whole composition is mathematically exact – each dot in the picture has its own place. All the characters (there are more than forty of them) were placed according to a strictly marked blue paint grid. In order to accurately recapture the atmosphere of the circus, Seurat came here every day, making various sketches: horse riders, clown hats, which seemed to him funny, Monsieur Luail.

The figure of the clown, we see in the foreground is very similar to the contrabass player figure from “Kankan”. At first glance, you can find the clown is an organizer of a circus performance, on the other hand, we can take him for an ordinary spectator. A woman-gymnast performing acrobatic feats on a horse, an acrobat – these characters succeed to create a sense of enthusiasm, uplift.

We shall not see the movement in the pictures of Seurat, the artist has always tried to depict only one, a certain moment of movement. We can recognize other characters in the paintings of the artist as spectators.

A special feature of the canvas is the artist tried to limit himself to only 3 colors – blue, yellow and red.

By WuDong,  


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