Abstract Canvas Prints No 68 : The Father Of Us All
True, there is the use of the Impressionists’ palette of primary colours, which Seurat has balanced perfectly to give the composition its sense of warm serenity.
But there is nothing very Impressionistic about the setting, it is not real or objective.
Public parks such as this one in Paris are noisy places, people don’t stand or sit in an orderly fashion looking sideways, with the occasional couple breaking ranks to walk forwards.
And although it depicts an archetypal late 19th century modern scene of city life, the composition’s harmony, the simple, repetitive geometric shapes and the block shadows all hark back to the Renaissance.
The statuesque figures go even further back into art history, to classical antiquity and Egyptian friezes, where mythical scenes were carved in stone and mounted around a building of room.
But then there is also something very ‘now’ about such a stylised image.
The dots foreshadow our pixelated digital age, the geometrical harmony speaks to modern product design, there is something of Jonathan Ive about George Seurat’s art.
As there is, albeit in a rather different way, about the paintings of the fourth and final Post-Impressionist.
He was the oldest and crankiest of the bunch.
The one who was there at the beginning of Impressionism, not at its tail end.
The one who is, in my opinion, the greatest artist of the entire modern movement, the man Picasso called the father of us all.
Grasp the art of Paul Cezanne and the rest falls into place.