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(b Paris, 2 Dec. 1859; d Paris, 29 Mar. 1891). French painter and draughtsman, the founder and greatest exponent of Neo-Impressionism. Seurat was the son of comfortably-off parents and his career took an unusual course: he never had to worry about earning a living and pursued his artistic researches with single-minded dedication. In 1878 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but his studies were interrupted by military service in 1879. He returned to Paris in 1880 and for the next two years devoted himself to drawing (he was one of the subtlest and most original draughtsmen of the 19th century, typically working with very broad, velvety areas of tone, using a conté crayon on textured paper). In spite of this mastery of black and white, as a painter he turned for inspiration to artists in the colourist tradition—notably Delacroix and the Impressionists.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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