Musée d'Orsay: Neo-impressionist Drawings

Neo-impressionist Drawings

Laurent Ernest JosephGeorges Seurat© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Christian Jean
In parallel with the exhibition organised in the Grand Palais for the centenary of Georges Seurat's death, the Musée d'Orsay presented a selection of drawings by neo-impressionist artists drawn from its collections and a few private collections.

As a foreword, a dozen drawings by Ernest Laurent (1859-1929), Scene by the River (Beethoven op.68), dealing with the painting exhibited at the 1884 salon reminded one of the links between Seurat, Ernest Laurent and Aman-Jean at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and their common work after they left.

Next, drawings by Charles Angrand (1854-1941), Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910), Georges Lemmen (1865-1916), Maximilien Luce (1858-1941), Camille Pissaro (1850-1903) and Théo Van Rysselbeghe (1862-1926) witnessed, each in their own way, to the influence exercised by Seurat in France as well as abroad.

Self-consciously using an austere technique - black pencil, conté pencil or charcoal, on a white sheet - these artists were able to transform the simplest motifs by the slightest modulation of variations of light.

Finally, a group of drawings by Paul Signac (1863-1931) reveals the close relationship that linked the two draughtsmen. Signac, early on, used the same pencil as Seurat and he pursued the same research of luminist notation.

Signac's "blacks", as Seurat's, emanate a surprisingly calm and majestic poetry.


Arlette Sérullaz, chief curator, graphical arts department, Musée du Louvre

9 April - 7 July 1991
Musée d'Orsay

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