Saturday, May 3, 2008
Last weekend I spent the afternoon at the Getty, and I was amazed specially with this drawing and what it said: - "Madame Seurat, The Artist Mother 1882-83, without using a single line, Seurat created the form of his mother". - Though Georges Seurat created many portraits of his mother, none have the arresting sense of calm and simplicity seen in this drawing. The drawing possesses an almost mystical aura, combining extreme intimacy and proximity with the equally extreme interiority of the sitter's facial expression. Her puzzling physical presence and psychological stillness is made all the more vaporous and ghostly by the drawing technique Seurat called "irradiation," which avoided distinct lines and represented the subtleties of light and shadow through tones of black crayon. The drawing was surely full of meaning for mother and son. Even after Georges Seurat moved to his own quarters in 1880, he dined with his mother almost every night. Their close relationship and frequent contact meant that he did not need to look far for a subject with whom he was intimately acquainted. Seurat gave this drawing to his mother.