where is seurat sunday afternoon
The essential meaning of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is far from clear. However art critics believe that it should be interpreted in comparison to its sister work Bathers at Asnieres. They believe that ‘La Jatte’ represents the French bourgeoisie, a decaying class that has fallen victim to lust and vice, and which is now in the shadows. In contrast, the sun is shining on the working class bathers of Asnieres, who represent the bright future of France.
The canvas is crowded with some forty stereotypical Parisian figures, shown full-face or in profile. Carefully arranged in static groups across the picture, they appear uncommunicative and frozen in time, adding to the dreamlike quality of the painting. Featuring men, women and children of all ages, Seurat’s figures also include several with symbolic meaning. A well-dressed women (extreme left) holds a fishing pole, alluding to the ‘fishing’ conducted by the bourgeois prostitutes of the area. The standing lady (foreground, extreme right) has a fashionable capuchin monkey as a pet. This identifies her as another prostitute (this time with a client), since the French word for ‘female monkey’ (singesse), was also slang for a woman of loose morals. A small girl dressed in white stares out at the viewer from the centre of the composition, as if to ask “what will happen to all these contented members of the bourgeoisie?” As well as these allusions to the social and political content of the picture, Seurat also includes a dash of patriotism: a boat is shown flying the French national flag, and two soldiers stand at attention as a musician plays (presumably) the national anthem.
The results of investigation into the discoloration of this painting have been ingeniously combined with further research into natural aging of paints to digitally rejuvenate the painting.  
Inspired by optical effects and perception inherent in the color theories of Michel Eugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood and others, Seurat adapted this scientific research to his painting.  Seurat contrasted miniature dots or small brushstrokes of colors that when unified optically in the human eye were perceived as a single shade or hue. He believed that this form of painting, called Divisionism at the time (a term he preferred)  but now known as Pointillism, would make the colors more brilliant and powerful than standard brushstrokes. The use of dots of almost uniform size came in the second year of his work on the painting, 1885–86. To make the experience of the painting even more vivid, he surrounded it with a frame of painted dots, which in turn he enclosed with a pure white, wooden frame, which is how the painting is exhibited today at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Seurat’s use of this highly systematic and near-scientific technique  distinguished his art from the endlessly more intuitive approach to painting used by the Impressionists. Georges may have embraced the subject matter of modern life preferred by artists such as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, but the way he depicted it on canvas couldn’t be any more different from the techniques of his peers.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is one of those rare cases where a single artwork is able to stand out completely – its transcendence, both narratively and technically, is instinctively recognized by everyone.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
In the center of the work is a flurry of activity, which makes the painting’s center as appealing to look at as the left and the right. Despite the activity in the piece, however, the artist’s placing of his figures lends a degree of formality and static to his piece.
Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,1884, Art Institute of Chicago
Georges Seurat, Study for ‘La Grande Jatte’, 1884-5, National Gallery, London