Art: Secrets of Seurat

The late great Georges Seurat is known in the U.S. very largely as the painter of one picture—his big Sunday afternoon scene showing some 40 figures taking their ease on the banks of the Seine, La Grande Jatte. In achieving this sun-struck masterpiece, which one critic declared was filled with "total aerial vibration," Seurat made innumerable sketches, spent two whole years (1884-86). Last week the life of the painter had its first full and fascinating exposition in English, at the hands of a 31-year-old German-born and Sorbonne-trained critic, John Rewald (Georges Seurat;...

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