Georges Seurat was a French post-Impressionist artist. He devised the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism and used conté crayon for drawings on paper with a rough surface.
At the start of his career, the artist followed a traditional path. He was taught to paint by a pupil of Ingres, Henri Lehman, at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, studying the works of early Italian and 17th-century French artists in the Louvre, and then exhibiting at the official Salon.
Seurat's artistic personality combined qualities that are usually thought of as opposed and incompatible: on the one hand, his extreme and delicate sensibility, on the other, a passion for logical abstraction and an almost mathematical precision of mind. His large-scale work A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1886) altered the direction of modern art by initiating Neo-Impressionism, and is one of the icons of late 19th-century painting.
Seurat combined a traditional approach, based on his academic training, with a study of modern techniques, such as Impressionism. He also applied ideas from contemporary optical theories of color relationships. Seurat's disciplined work, which contrasts with that of many of his Impressionist contemporaries, was very influential.