Georges Seurat's masterpiece, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," began as a series of drawings and sketches done by the Paris-born artist in 1884-1886. While it wasn't his first painting, it was his largest and most ambitious work.
In the painting, Seurat depicted the leisurely activities of the people who gathered to spend a Sunday afternoon at La Grande Jatte, an island in the Seine River outside of Paris. Seen from an elevated vantage point, the painting conveys the hustle and bustle of the busy park, with its rowboats, sailboats, and people walking, talking, and picnicking. The color palette is vibrant and dynamic, and Seurat utilized his distinct pointillism technique of small, independent strokes of primary colors in red, yellow and blue to create a sense of depth and atmosphere.
The painting was exhibited at the eighth and final exhibition of the Impressionists in 1886. Though it was not universally praised, the painting has been hailed as a groundbreaking accomplishment in the development of modern art.
Seurat's iconic work has since been immortalized in the 1986 movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and continues to garner admirers from around the world. It remains an influential example of Seurat's distinctive use of color and pointillism, and is currently housed in the Art Institute of Chicago.