A Masterpiece Mystery: Pinpoint the Painter

The perpetrator of this particular painting has a penchant for precisely painted patches

By Google Arts & Culture

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884-1886) by Georges SeuratThe Art Institute of Chicago

Follow the clues…

Think you can guess the painting? As you scroll, the slides will zoom out, revealing more details. But see if you can guess before the big reveal. Don't worry, this one should be a stroll in the park...

This dog doesn't seem like much of a clue, but look carefully at how it's painted. Those small strokes look very unusual, and it doesn't have much detail. It's definitely a piece of modern art.

This man looks very relaxed with his pipe, perhaps too relaxed, what's he hiding? He's painted with those same dots too. Perhaps a pattern is beginning to emerge...

A faceless woman? Maybe there's an impression that this artist is more concerned with technique than with his subjects. That narrows it down a little, but we need a few more clues.

Oh dear, we've zoomed in too far... but wait, who else would paint such precise points? The penny's dropped! We've pinned down the perpetrator. Let's take a step back and see which painting it is we're dealing with.

Just as suspected, it's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, the most famous work of the pointillist and post-impressionist painter, Georges Seurat.

The painting depicts the people of Paris relaxing in a park on an island in the River Seine called La Grande Jatte. Seurat shows a cross-section of society, from gendarmes and gentlemen, to boaters and nannies.

At the centre of the painting is a young girl who catches the eye, bathed in light and dressed in white. Her nanny seems distracted, while she looks straight towards the viewer.

Taking a closer look, you can really see Seurat's pointillist technique, which uses lots of very small dots of complementary colours to produce the effect of dazzling sunshine.

Why not yourself take an afternoon off and go and see La Grand Jatte at the Chicago Institute of Arts?

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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