It’s A Matter of Perspective – June 16th, 2010

Take a look at this picture: 

Painter Georges Seurat's “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

What do you see? 

I know, you see a painting!  Take a closer look…what do you see IN the painting? 

Did you notice the mother and daughter walking in the center of the painting?  Did you also see the sailboats in the River Seine to the left?  What about the dramatic bustles on the women?  

At a glance, it just looks like a very beautiful and colorful interpretation of various classes in the park on the island.  But if you were to look close, you would actually see Seurat used dots of various colors that allow the viewer to visually blend them to create a solid color and create depth , vibrancy and movement. 

Also, think about the people in the painting.  Since they represent various social classes in France at the time, I’m sure each one had a different perspective of the island…and probably each other.  And each one of us, as the viewer, could all see something different from our various perspectives in life.   Someone who enjoys fashion may have noticed the clothing first.  The different couples in the painting may have caught the eye of the romantic art lover.  

Earlier today, my father was trying to point out what he thought was a groundhog hole.  I looked but didn’t see it.  He said, “see, it right over the roof of your car on that hill.”  After I leaned over a bit and looked above the roof, I could see it.  

Isn’t it funny how we can make one change in life and get a whole new perspective?

NOTE:  Pointillism is the name of the painting technique used by the artist. 

Here’s a modern take on pointillism.


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