I mentioned that I'd post some more pictures from my day at the Art Institute of Chicago. This is one that should be quite familiar particularly to those fans of musicals and in particular Stephen Sondheim. This is the original "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat on which Sondheim based his musical, Sunday in the Park with George. (Some references call the painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," but we'll go with what the Art Institute says.)
No reproduction of the painting can really do this justice. It's not just the size, but mainly the "pointilism" that Seurat created, making the work virtually a collection of dots. Standing up close, just a few feet away (the guard at the right politely asked me to step back, even though I was outside the rope at the bottom) and seeing the the meticulous, painstaking detail and the colors blending into one another is quite remarkable.
But this painting in the same room I found particularly interesting. It's a significantly smaller, earlier study of the same subject that Seurat did. At first glance it looks very similar, but when you take a closer look, you can see the changes he made. The three people in the lower right, for instance, are totally different in the final painting, the whimsical monkey on a leash is nowhere to be seen in the study. Lots of other changes, as well.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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