The Side Show is a monumental oil painting by master artist Georges Seurat, created in 1888. It is the artist’s first endeavor in nocturnal painting and depicts a popular entertainment. The artwork showcases the parade or side show of the renowned Circus Corvi. Seurat accomplished the painting using his signature pointillism technique, which includes placing tiny spots of color on the canvas to create a whole image.
It was inaugurated in 1888 at Salon des Indépendants in Paris, where it stood out for its striking use of light effects to convey the atmosphere of a traveling fair. Currently, The Side Show can be viewed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where it remains a prominent attraction. The composition is one of over 100 small oil paintings made by Seurat after he completed A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
The artwork merges the light and dark tones of gas and acetylene lamps to produce a captivating and animated display. It is a superb example of Seurat’s artistic style, which infuses a unique clarity of form to produce an enchanting visual effect. The painting is an outstanding achievement that signifies Seurat’s ingenuity in defining the spirit of his imaginative subject matter.