The Making of Seurat's 'La Grande Jatte'

French Artist's Masterpiece at Center of Chicago Exhibit

An inset of Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-1884, named for an island in the Seine near Paris. The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection hide caption

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itoggle caption The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection

A new exhibit in Chicago focuses on a single painting — Georges Seurat's groundbreaking, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. The show features the trial-and-error preparations that led up to Seurat's masterpiece. NPR's Susan Stamberg reports on the exhibition, which opens Saturday at the Art Institute of Chicago and runs through Sept. 19.

Curator Douglas Druick says Seurat was aiming for art that was both contemporary and timeless.

In his 1984 musical Sunday in the Park With George, composer Stephen Sondheim imagined Seurat making the painting. Druick says Sondheim did with his music what Seurat did with Impressionism: "He took something that was wonderful and paid homage to it, and he made it into something else."

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