My friend and I went straight to The Museum of Modern Art, also known as the MOMA. I looked briefly the night before at each museum to get a feel for what I wanted to see, and what I did not. Once I saw this artist was at the MOMA, that's when I knew I wanted to actually see it in person. The artist that I very much wanted to see was George Seurat. Prior to this class, I have never heard of this artist. I never knew who he was, or knew the style in which he painted. It was only a few classes before the trip that I truly learned to appreciate this artist.
I have never seen an artist who has the patience and delicacy to place these dots on a canvas, sometimes smaller than a crumb, to create a work of art. George Seurat was a French Post-Impressionist painter who drew in a style called pointillism. Pointillism is "the theory or practice in art of applying small strokes or dots of color to a surface so that from a distance they blend together. " (Merriam- webster. com) This style of painting is consistent with his other works through this time period. The piece of art I chose for my paper is the "Port-en-Bessin, Entrance to he Harbor" by Seurat.
This painting was made in France in 1888 and is roughly 21. 65 inches by 25. 59 inches. The painting is oil on canvas and describes a harbor in France. When I first saw this painting I didn't realize it was a piece by Seurat. It looked as if it was work done in a different style than pointillism. I chose this one because, in my opinion, this style of painting deserves the most respect out of any of the artist. In this painting you can see how each little dot is done in order to create one large image. The first thing I noticed in this painting was the defining line between the shore and the water.
Seurat uses different shades of green and a very pale color to illustrate the effect of grass and sand. For some reason that part of the painting kept me looking for a little bit and following the shore line up the painting. Next my eyes brought me to the water and the floating dock towards the middle ground slightly to the left of the painting. Here you can see he used two complementary colors to really attract your eyes to that point. The almost wood color f the dock and the light blue water really reinforce each other and keep you looking there for a brief second.
The water had me confused at first. You can see within the harbor itself, there are three larger dark blue circles. I thought they were deeper parts of the water and Seurat was trying to create depth here, but I soon ruled that out. I later realized with the weather that is portrayed here, that those are clouds exiting the harbor and that there was a lot going on here. I believe this is where Seurat wanted his focal point to be. The very center of the painting shows the sharp angles of the sails against the dark shadow of the cloud meeting the water.
It is not just the contrast that brings your eyes here, but it is the way the boats are positioned. As with the shore line mentioned earlier, the boats are creating this line in which your eyes Just follow. Seurat uses directional force here starting with the boat on the right and creating this sense of movement towards the boat to the left, leading out into the ocean. He uses the shapes of the sails, and the direction they re advancing, to lead your eyes out, to the background, into the ocean where the rest of the boats are.
Actually going into the city to see the original work in person was important to me because you can only appreciate this style of art once you are in front of it. Looking up this picture online doesn't do it Justice because the colors are off and it looks strikingly different from the original. Also an important thing to note is you can really see the small and medium dots he used in this painting. When you zoom in online, the resolution is off and it gets blurry before you can see detail.
Not to discredit any other artist, but I think this style of painting requires much more time and dedication to create the final image. Overall, I have enjoyed this trip, and the class for that matter, because it showed me there is more to art when you can break it down using the elements and principles and see what the painting is really about. Works Cited "Pointillism - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. " Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. N. p. , 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 29 NOV. 2013. .