Why Is "A Sunday Walk on La Grande Jatte" So Famous?

Why Is "A Sunday Walk on La Grande Jatte" So Famous?

A look at what makes a good painting.
Jake VP.
Jake VP.

Why is this work famous? A countless amount of dots on a monstrously sized canvas, showing a sunny, lazy afternoon. Why does this deserve to be in a museum?

Many would say it's the dots, that painstakingly precise technique of pointillism which George Seurat pioneered with this painting. Truly new ideas are hard to come by, and this technique, at least to my uncultured eye, feels new. It doesn't look easy either, and the effort to cover this 7x10 foot canvas with nothing but the tip of the paintbrush. But I suspect that not just any wall of dots would have gained such a foothold in pop-culture.

Others might say it is the composition. The strong blue triangle of water, jutting into the frame on the left, with the larger triangle of green grass dominating the frame, your eye being carried down the gallery of lazy late-day strollers. There are strong lines from the tree trunks in the upper right, and the few people standing, which make you look up and down the piece of art at all those empty faces.

The dabs and dots of paint accumulate into a grand work of countless figures, yet they are all seemingly, sad. Or at the very least, bored. It seems as if everyone in the painting is sharing some great feeling, one of wishing they had something to do, and yet not wanting to do anything at all. The people seem frozen, they stand, sit, lie down, waiting for their feeling of waiting to end. I think what resonates in this painting is this feeling.

I think at some point we have all felt this way. We wish there was something to do, yet, anything we could do has lost its meaning. The 20th-century philosopher Ernst Bloch once described this painting as depicting "endless boredom". Perhaps what is so intriguing about this idea is; why are they bored?

Most of the people in the painting seem to be well-to-do, they are, at least for the most part, able to have the Sunday off from work and enjoy a stroll in the park, is that not everything we are taught to strive for? To get a decent job so that we can have weekends to ourselves to relax with?

This painting seems to me, and Mr. Bloch, to say that leisure isn't the answer to what life is about, it only leads to boredom. But there is one thing remaining. If the painting is telling us not to choose leisure, what are we to choose?

Let us look once more at the painting, and here notice the peculiarly off-palette boarder. The painting is contained in itself, I would venture so far as to say, the painting knows it is a painting. And in the middle of the painting, challenging you not to leisurely look at the painting, but to examine it, by force of her gaze, is a girl in all white.

The painting is telling you to analyze it, but not only itself, but to analyze the world. To live a passive life of leisure is to be trapped in a world of boredom but to engage in it is to live.

Cover Image Credit: The Art Institute of Chicago's Instagram

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9 Reasons You're Still In Love With Tim Riggins In 2019

Clear eyes. Full hearts.

If you're a Friday Night Lights fan, you know very well who Tim Riggins is. And if you've never seen the show, he's basically just the bad boy football star and sensitive hottie of your dreams, all wrapped into one heart-throbbing package. If you haven't already fallen under the Tim Riggins spell, you're about to...

1. He's the star running back of the Dillon Panthers.

Basically every girl who has walked this earth has fantasized about having that cliche football relationship. No shame. #33 on the field, #1 in my heart.

2. He's actually really sensitive.

Tim Riggins may seem hard and dysfunctional on the outside, but he's really just a big softie. He's no JD McCoy, who grew up lavishly and extremely fortunate; Tim had a rough upbringing. He and his brother, Billy, had to work hard all by themselves just to stay above water, which is most likely what keeps him so grounded and humbled.

3. He loves kids.

Tim didn't even think twice about taking his neighbor under his wing when he moved in next door. And for some reason, there's just somethin' about cute boys holding babies that makes us girls swoon.

4. He's genuine and honest.

Sure, maybe he took advantage of his football-star status and slept with most of the rally girls, but once he fell in love with Lyla we saw his compassionate side. (You probably envied Lyla and maybe even hated her for a while because of it...I know I did.)

5. He knows how to have a good time.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

6. He's a family man.

Tim took the blame for his brother's crime and went to prison for it...if that's not loyalty then I don't know what is.

7. He's affectionate.

If you either hate Lyla or you want to be Lyla or a combination of the both, you are not alone.

8. He's protective.

Probably the only time you've ever wanted to be in a tornado was when you watched the episode where he shielded Julie from flying debris.

9. He's beautiful.

You're welcome for blessing you with this GIF.

May you all find your own Tim Riggins. Amen.

Cover Image Credit: whereshewanders.com

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.


They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

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What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong

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