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Paintings by Georges Seurat


The Circus by Georges Seurat
Georges Seurat's The Circus (oil on canvas, 73x 59-1/8 inches)
Georges Seurat's The Circus (oil on canvas, 73x 59-1/8 inches)

In his last large-scale painting, the 1890-1891 work The Circus, Georges Seurat selected a subject that had long been popular among the Impressionists: the lively public entertainment at the Cirque Fernando. But unlike Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas's portrayal of a crowd holding their breath at an aerialist's dangerous performance, Georges Seurat approached his subject in The Circus in an intellectual rather than a responsive manner, using the image to explore his theories about color and line. The result is abstract and decorative, and The Circus was left unfinished at Georges Seurat's death.

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American paintings. She is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.