Our Art Institute of Chicago Tour, Gallery 8: Posting Post-Impressionist Impressions

Sunday on La Grande Jatte!

Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884-1886. This was our least obscured shot of it.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: as part of my 47th birthday celebration, my wife Anne and I drove from Indianapolis up to the Art Institute of Chicago and spent four hours with our eyes wide, jaws dropped, intellects engaged, and cameras and phones at the ready. We barely saw half the museum and will have to return someday for more.

The museum’s Impressionist galleries fittingly bump up against the Post-Impressionists, those subsequent rebels who deemphasized contours and rejected natural lighting and coloring, largely opting for creatively juxtapositions and techniques across a number of separate yet related mini-movements. Neo-Impressionism, pointillism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism, and the French clique known as Les Nabis are each represented at the AIC under the Post-Impressionist aegis, some in greater quantities than others.

Seurat watchers!

Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece, which measures 10 feet by 6½ feet, was indisputably the most popular painting we saw that day.

Kid Pointillist!

COMPUTER, ENHANCE IMAGE: kid tries to hide from pointillism behind Mama’s skirt.

La Grande Jatte oil sketch!

One of fourteen studies Seurat performed before commencing with the real thing, plotting out the poses and layouts for the nearly two dozen characters.in that park, a few of whom were reposed during the process..

At the Moulin Rouge!

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge, 1892-95. A slice-of-life snapshot from his extended his stay in Montmartre among the bohemians. I think I can tell which one is Nicole Kidman.

Moulin de la Galette!

Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin de la Galette, 1889, a few years earlier than the more famous piece. The titular locale was a dance hall that sported a windmill not unlike the Moulin Rouge’s.

Arliesiennes (Mistral)!

Paul Gauguin, Arlesiennes (Mistral), 1888. Produced during the time frame when he was BFFs with the legendary Vincent van Gogh.

Hibuscius Tree!

Gauguin, te Burao (The Hibiscus Tree), 1891. Not unlike his old pal van Gogh, Gauguin found better success postmortem.

Girl by the Window!

Edvard Munch, The Girl by the Window, 1893. The Norwegian artist painted this the same year as another work that went on to become his #1 hit single, The Scream.

Girl by the Window detail!

COMPUTER, ENHANCE IMAGE: that girl and that window.

Window Overlooking the Woods!

Edouard Vuillard; Landscape: Window Overlooking the Woods; 1899. Another epic-sized work like Seurat’s, this one influenced by Japanese art.

Elegant Woman at the Elysee Montmartre!

Louis Anquetin, An Elegant Woman at the Elysee Montmartre, 1888. Another look at Parisian nightlife a la his friend Toulouse-Lautrec.


To answer your question from several captions, yes, they did indeed have some van Gogh. 1890’s The Drinkers, is an homage to or ripoff of Honore Daumier’s 1850 composition Physiology of the Drinker: The Four Ages.

The Bedroom!

van Gogh painted three versions of 1889’s The Bedroom. Chicago lays claim to the second; the original is in Amsterdam, the third in Paris’ Musée d’Orsay.

Bedroom detail!

Furniture details from that bedroom. The AIC had the honor of displaying all three versions together as a temporary exhibit in 2016.

Van Gogh Self-Potrait!

One of van Gogh’s dozens of self-portraits, this one from 1887 was inspired by Seurat’s big deal up there. I’m absolutely reminded of Tony Curran from the Doctor Who episode “Vincent and the Doctor”.

More to come! Other chapters in this very special MCC maxiseries:

Gallery 1: The Grounds Alone
Gallery 2: The Old Modern Americans
Gallery 3: Georgia on Her Mind
Gallery 4: Two Americans Abroad
Gallery 5: Ye Olde Tyme America
Gallery 6: Very Contemporary
Gallery 7: Monet Growing on Trees
Gallery 8: Posting Post-Impressionist Impressions
Gallery 9: Picasso and the Surreal
Gallery 10: The Last of the Famous International
Gallery 11: Caveat Sculptor
Gallery 12: An Omnibus of Outtakes

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