Georges Seurat’s “Woman Seated by an Easel” is a genre painting created using crayon on paper in the years 1884-1888. The artwork resides in the Fogg Museum of the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, MA, US, and measures 30.5 x 23.3 cm. The painting depicts Seurat’s mistress, Madeleine Knobloch, posing for him while seated in front of an easel.
Seurat developed his own style, which was based on research in optical and color theory, and he used the technique called Pointillism in his work. This method juxtaposed color, light, and form, creating a scientific style that was part of the Neo-Impressionist movement. The artwork shows Seurat’s mastery of this technique, with the woman’s face and clothing highlighted using a variety of small dots.
Seurat’s “Woman Seated by an Easel” is an excellent example of genre painting, a style that portrays everyday scenes of ordinary people engaged in commonplace activities. This artwork displays a sense of intimacy between the sitter and the painter that is palpable to the viewer. The painting is notable for its precise draftsmanship, expressive use of color, and intricate detail. It offers a glimpse into Seurat’s obsession with light, color, and form, which are depicted with scientific precision in this artwork.