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The Cover
May 11, 2011

The Gardener

JAMA. 2011;305(18):1837. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.554

To prepare for his masterpiece A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, the painter Georges Seurat (1859-1891) made 23 drawings and painted 38 studies in oil. La Grande Jatte is one of those iconic paintings, like Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Picasso's Guernica, that has popular as well as critical appeal. Art lovers who don't recall the name of the painting may recognize its well-dressed Parisians in a park, each of them painted with tiny dots of complementary colors. Seurat designed La Grande Jatte to address some optical problems in art that intrigued him, such as how to make spots of color blend in the eye and how colors of nearby objects may be reflected from one surface to another. It was the culmination of years of study of visual perception from an artist's point of view.

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