Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Far From (Urban) Rains --- Day 12/14

Walk: No, Pouring again

Distance: 0

Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-1885, oil on canvas

Ciwt always enjoys viewing this treasure of a painting, and particularly in the midst of California's present day-in, day-out winds and heavy rain.   

Play and movie goers recognize it as the basis for the 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George or from its prominent cameo in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  It is featured in numerous art books, the subject of posters large and small, a favorite greeting card not to mention coffee cups, refrigerator magnets, placemats and other ways to bring this warm, friendly and colorful image into people's daily lives.

Some CIWT readers may not know though that the Island of la Grande Jatte lies in the Seine at the very gate of Paris.  Today a site of a public garden and housing development, it was a " bucolic retreat" far from the urban center when Georges Seurat began painting it in 1884.  Well, bucolic may be euphemism because the area was widely known at the time as a place to procure prostitutes.  Perhaps the woman with an attention getting monkey on a leash might have been making monkey business available to an interested member of the bourgeoisie.  And the innocent little girl in white may be taking in more than her mother realizes.  All in all, the Island's long distance from the center of Paris was likely a most appreciated feature for a variety of reasons.

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