Le chahut (1889-90) by Georges Seurat

Le chahut - Georges Seurat - 1889 - 1890

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Artwork Information

TitleLe chahut
ArtistGeorges Seurat
Date1889 - 1890
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions169 x 141 cm
Art MovementNeo-Impressionism
Current LocationKröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands
Location Created France

About Le chahut

“Le chahut” is an oil on canvas artwork by Georges Seurat, created between 1889 and 1890 and epitomizing the Neo-Impressionist movement. The painting measures 169 by 141 centimeters and forms part of the genre painting category, illustrating a scene with figures. The artwork currently resides in the Kröller-Müller Museum located in Otterlo, Netherlands. Seurat painted this piece in France, reflecting the cultural and artistic vibrancy of his surroundings.

The artwork exhibits a lively scene, capturing the essence of a cancan performance. The composition is meticulously structured with a vertical emphasis, drawing the viewer’s eye towards the energetic leg movements of the dancers, characterized by their high kicks which are a hallmark of the dance form. Seurat’s use of Neo-Impressionist technique is prominent, with a rich tapestry of pointillist dots creating both texture and a vibrant luminosity throughout the scene. The color palette is carefully chosen, with cooler tones in the background and warm, lively hues dominating the dancers’ costumes, effectively conveying the exuberance of the moment. The audience is included in the foreground, indicated by a conductor wielding a baton, musicians immersed in their play, and a spectator, whose facial expressions and posture suggest immersion and enjoyment of the spectacle. Seurat’s attention to detail, particularly in the way he replicates light and shadow using his signature pointillist technique, reveals his rigorous approach to the study of color theory and optical effects. The artwork not only represents a joyous social event but also stands as a testament to Seurat’s innovative artistic practice that sought to fuse science with the aesthetics of painting.

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