Feeling Summer With Seurat

We have passed the summer halfway point. For those of us in New York and the northeast, it’s been a bizarre season in terms of weather. Sooooo much rain and thunderstorms, cloudy overcast skies and fluctuating temperatures. What disappoints me is that we haven’t really experienced that “summer feel”. You know that summer feel? Hazy, lazy, unhurried . . . that warm “glob” of languor which permeates the air, and takes hold of the collective mood of the people. We haven’t gotten into that zone yet this summer. The lazy floating glob hasn’t made an official appearance. It’s not summer without the glob! Where’s the glob?!!

Last summer, though, was a different story altogether, as I got to wallow in major summer feel up in Nantucket. Ah, that was a great vacation, and I wish I was going back there this year. I miss that island! Just the biking alone was sensational. :sends hugs and kisses up to Nantucket:

Georges Seurat captured the summer feel beautifully in his painting Bathers at Asnieres. One of his most famous works, Bathers is notable for it’s unique fresco-like colors, organized composition, and luminous light effects achieved through his Pointilism technique. Seurat was just 24 years old when he painted this large 7 feet by 11 feet canvas. A couple of things to observe in this painting are that the figures are all in profile, and the horizontal lines/shapes in the distance set off the softer, curving lines in the foreground. The result is something quiet, soothing, almost serene. And best of all, it feels hot and lazy, gooey and sticky, just like summer. Those guys on the banks of the Seine are saying , “Work? Eh. Whatever. I’ll get back when I feel like it. Right now I’m coolin’ and chillin’.”

For some vicarious summer feeling, this is Seurat’s Bathers at Asnieres. 1884. I recommend enlarging this image to get a superior view and full appreciation of this masterwork by Seurat:

Seurat_bathers

5 thoughts on “Feeling Summer With Seurat

  1. Ron says:

    Summer in the park with Georges. At least we’ve had a bit of the glob these past few days after a cold wet rainy summer.

  2. fredh1 says:

    The big Seurat paintings are mural-scale and need to be seen in person for the full effect. To me they convey the feeling of a world made of nothing but light, though that light is highly structured. I love the cool shadows, the featureless faces, the faraway skyline and the little red dog.

    • artmodel says:

      Fred,

      I like the dog too! And I like your deconstruction of Seurat. Long ago, before i developed a better understanding of art, I used to think Seurat’s work was stilted and contrived. But now I see how well the art works overall. His paintings “read” beautifully. It’s clear that he knew exactly what he was doing.

      Thanks for your great comments!

      Claudia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s