The Models (1887-88) by Georges Seurat

The Models - Georges Seurat - 1887 - 1888

Artwork Information

TitleThe Models
ArtistGeorges Seurat
Date1887 - 1888
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions39.4 x 48.7 cm
Art MovementNeo-Impressionism
Current LocationBarnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, US
Location Created France

About The Models

“The Models” is an artwork by Georges Seurat, dating from 1887 to 1888, rendered in oil on canvas. It measures 39.4 x 48.7 cm and is categorized within the Neo-Impressionism art movement, specifically as a nude painting. The piece is housed at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA, USA, and was created in France.

The artwork depicts a scene of three nude models in various poses within what appears to be an artist’s studio. One model is standing upright, facing the viewer, while the second is seated on the floor, looking away, and the third is seated on a platform while turning slightly towards the viewer. All of them are surrounded by richly colored and textured studio paraphernalia—drapery, garments, and artist’s materials—forming a vivid tableau.

The application of paint is noticeably composed of small, distinct dots of color, a technique known as Pointillism, characteristic of Seurat’s pioneering Neo-Impressionist approach. Through this technique, Seurat plays with the optical mixing of colors, where separate colors placed closely together blend in the viewer’s perception, creating a luminous effect. The composition, light, and use of color in the artwork demonstrate Seurat’s exploration of scientific approaches to art, attempting to systematize the chaos of perception and render the ephemeral visual experience with extraordinary precision and controlled technique.

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