- Paul Smith
(b Paris, Dec 2, 1859; d Paris, March 29, 1891).
French painter and draughtsman. In his short career as a mature artist (c. 1882–91), he produced highly sophisticated drawings and invented the Divisionist technique of painting known as Pointillism, which was taken up by many of his contemporaries associated with Neo-Impressionism. His application of scientific principles to painting and his stress on the surface quality of his work have had lasting effects on 20th-century art.
Seurat belonged to a Parisian middle-class family. As a child he saw little of his eccentric father, Antoine-Chrysostome (a customs official at La Villette), or his brother, Emile (a minor playwright). He was more attached to his female relatives and especially his mother, Ernestine (née Faivre), who appears in several drawings of the family apartment at 130 Boulevard de Magenta (e.g. Embroidery, c. 1883; New York, Met.). Seurat continued to take his evening meal there even when he went to live with his mistress, Madeleine Knobloch, from around ...