The Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal

A Premier Humanities Research Journal at the University of California, Berkeley

Color as Creator: The Artistic Process in Rimbaud and Seurat

Madeline Steup

In Color as Creator: The Artistic Process in Rimbaud and Seurat, I compare the artistic methods and styles of Arthur Rimbaud and Georges Seurat, looking at color, light, and movement in the poem Chair et Soleil and the painting Circus. I conclude that the two different artists use the same fundamental process to touch their audience. Light in both the poem and the painting positively changes whatever it illuminates; colors highlight tensions in the work to intensify the audience’s emotional reactions. The two combined create movement, which guides the audience’s experience, while remaining fluid enough to allow each viewer to create their own understanding of the artwork. I conclude that although Rimbaud and Seurat’s circumstances were quite different, their usage of fluid imagery is essentially similar, and the facets of their works affect audiences in comparable ways.

In an essay on Georges Seurat, critic Brendan Prendeville approaches “the difficulty of securely defining, in art, the proper object of attention,” asking: “How, and where, should our looking begin?” [1] This question, in different forms, is at the heart of all artistic analysis, along with its complement: what exactly are we looking at? While reading poetry, the process seems clear: start with the first word, and read until the end. The difficulty comes with the second question, when one asks what you are seeing: how do the words on the page create images in your head? Looking at paintings, these questions are reversed. There are tangible colors, figures, and lines, and they are all interconnected, so the object of “our looking” is clear — the only question is where to begin. Is it better to move from the bottom of the painting to the top, the left to the right, or let the eye dance around the painting with abandon? However you choose to look at a painting, and however you understand the visuals of reading poetry, another question looms ahead: what makes art moving? How do artists create affective works? Although it may seem that such different art forms as poetry and painting would use different methods to touch their audiences, analysis of Arthur Rimbaud’s Soleil et Chair and George Seurat’s Circus shows that the artistic process behind these two works is fundamentally the same — and fundamentally connected to the imagery of the work, and the audience’s movement through these images.

Scholars have been intrigued by the relation between Symbolist poetry and painting almost since Rimbaud threw away his poetic career for the military. How similar are the inspiration and construction of art and poetry, and are these similarities intentional? Certainly, the radically different lifestyles of Arthur Rimbaud and Georges Seurat do not suggest that their art would be similar. Rimbaud is one of the most famous poètes maudits from the Decadent and Symbolist age, a boy genius who gave up writing poetry at nineteen, after several intense years of trying to become a “Seer” and a torrid relationship with the older poet Paul Verlaine. Georges Seurat was born into a well-to-do French family and enjoyed a more traditional lifestyle, studying art, serving in the military for a year, and then making a calmly productive career out of painting. He inspired Neo-impressionism, and his success continues on today. This essay will focus on two dissimilar works: Seurat’s last painting, the unfinished Circus, and one of Rimbaud’s earlier poems, Soleil et Chair [2]. Circus is done in the extremely new (for its time) Pointillist style that Seurat popularized, while Rimbaud mimics ancient Roman poetry. The focuses of the two works are also quite different: the subject of the painting is a circus ring in which a gold figure performs on a horse while a red figure screams in the foreground, whereas the poem is a discussion of the sun, the earth and the role of man, with images of Pagan deities scattered throughout. However different they are, a comparison of both artworks reveals that the two artists use the same trajectory to affect the audience: they use light, color, and movement to create a vivid image that appears in the reader or viewer’s mind, inspired by the art, but slightly separate from the art’s exact form. Rimbaud and Seurat’s sources of light (specifically sunlight) slightly change the colors, starting a chain reaction: the colors inspire both emotional and physical reactions in the reader or viewer; the light and color together create movement; movement pushes the reader or viewer into a new world.

Light as a changing force is one of the ideas that Belgian literary critic Georges Poulet espouses in his book Exploding Poetry, and Poulet’s analysis of “the Rimbaldian sun” claims that “the intervention of the sun causes the creature to renounce it’s own identity, to become other. [3]” Although Poulet is here speaking of a different poem, his observation holds true in Soleil et Chair: wherever sunlight or daylight figures in the poem, life forms change. The main idea is that the sun shines down, and nature and people grow, thus “becoming other” than their previous state. The poem equates the sun with men and the earth with women, which in both cases is biologically justified. The sun changes the earth by powering plant growth, and men can change women through impregnation. This idea of light causing change through growth is revealed in the very the first stanza, when “the sun, the hearth of affection and life” (line 1) beams on the earth, full of “sap and sunlight,” (7) and all the embryos grow. Not only does the sunlight cause physical growth, but it can improve mental and emotional states as well: Rimbaud describes a man “bring[ing] light into his poor soul” (59)  and “ascend[ing],” (60) as though light were a medicine.  The light source is viewed as god-like, representing power and healing, and altering anything it illuminates.  Rimbaud claims that “In the broad daylight … [man] will revive,” (67, 68) and in the poem, this process happens again and again: a man or being is illuminated, and he grows.

Similarly, in Circus, the yellow areas of the painting are all places that become more magical. Light was important in Seurat’s painting process not simply as a technical element, but because of its role in his ideas of color theory. In Seurat and Color Theory, Georges Roque discusses the relationship between the local color and the light source as Seurat viewed it, claiming that “the light source introduces an element of mutability.” [4] Circus is a clear example of this: Seurat’s usage of light gives the various yellows in Circus a glowing quality, makes them brighter or bolder, or surrounds them with other colors, and it gives yellow the power to change and enthrall. The bleachers are areas of yellows and blues: the light represents the magic of the circus, the suspended disbelief and awe of the performer’s acts, while the dark is the invading sense of skepticism, or boredom, that can take away from a show. In the right-hand side of the painting, the struggle between blue and yellow is shown on the curtain, where the yellow emphasizes the fact that the curtain is the entryway to the magic, and the blue marks the curtain as the exit back to the real world. Specifically viewing yellow as light, and thus blue as shadow, imbues both colors with their own meaning and effect. The two circus performers poised in mid-air, jumping and twisting, are purely yellow — they are artists changing and growing in the throes of a performance. The most blue in the ring surrounds the red and white figure. He is not fully in character — his hands and arms are unpainted, and he is holding an ambiguous curtain of yellow fabric. The blue emanates from him, like doubt preventing him from completely changing and performing.

Color is used in both Soleil et Chair and Circus to create emotional tension through their connotations and surroundings. One of the most noticeable features of Rimbaud’s writing is the number of colors he scatters through the lines. Susan Harrow describes the gamut of intense reactions that these colors cause, writing in The Material, The Real, and The Fractured Self: subjectivity and representation from Rimbaud to Reda that color description “reverberates with intimations of pride, disgust, attraction, violence, confidence, uncertainty, and exhilaration.” [5] Rimbaud’s colors not only evoke certain immediate emotional reactions, but also, when combined with other words, take on new dimensions and connotations, creating vivid images and tensions. In Rimbaud’s first stanza of longing for earlier times, he talks about the “rose-coloured blood of green trees.” (16) The two straightforward colors, rose and green, are both seen in nature, and bring to mind spring, and new growth. Green is commonly associated with the earth, but it is in itself a source of tension: although nature is at its healthiest while deep green, the color also can mean unripe. “Rose-coloured blood” is similarly a more complicated phrase than it seems at first. Blood is quintessentially human; it is associated with deep red, the color symbolizing love, anger, and power. The idea, then, of “rose-coloured” (or pink, in a less romantic translation) blood is muted blood. Muted blood is less vigorous; it is less of a life source. “Blood,” like “green,” thus becomes a word with identity tension: “Rose” as a modifier turns blood into a part of nature, as opposed to simply a part of the body.

The tension between man and earth continues throughout the poem, and transitions into a question of earth versus heaven. Rimbaud questions “Why the blue silence, unfathomable space?
Why the golden stars, teeming like sands?” (90, 91) The word “unfathomable” in conjunction with the word “blue” provokes an intense feeling of the universe as a powerful but mysterious source of energy. Had Rimbaud described “grey silence,” the coloring of the line would have brought to mind something frozen, perhaps death, but not an “unfathomable space” that one can relate to. The metaphor of stars and sand is particularly telling: sand is plain and prosaic, the smallest bits of earth, whereas stars sparkle and shine brilliantly. The way the colors relate to each other gives all of them qualities they do not possess alone, making each line more vivid. The critic Paul Signac said that in Seurat’s paintings  “The contours are drowned in elements … Observation of the laws of contrast, methodical separation of reactions [6]” — these phrases can be used to describe Rimbaud’s poetry as well. The lines are “drowned” with colors and elements that relate to them, fraught with conflicting connotations, but separated to retain aesthetic pleasure.

The colors in Circus play the same role as in Rimbaud. They point out connected forces, inundate areas with varying emotions, and pull the audience in different directions.  Roque writes that “One of [scientists’] basic principles was that light gives a sensation of pleasure, while darkness produces fear, [7]” and these are the contrasts that show up in Circus. Yellow is generally a happy color, the color of the sun, but the painting, notwithstanding how much yellow is on the canvas, seems fraught and chaotic. Although the painting is dappled with light, the darker side of art and performance retains a strong presence. The use of red is equally conflicted: the majority of the red in the painting is both structural and stable, such as beams and railings in the bleachers, but the joker character in the foreground is a part of the performance (not the structure) and seems agitated and pained. The balance of color in the overall painting is a series of relationships between pairs of colors. The yellow performer on the horse occupies the most important location in the painting, but the red character in front is so large that he vies for attention. Although black and white are only a small part of the painting, they also are a source of tension in the mid-ground of the painting. The man in the black suit seems to push the white horse almost out of the ring, because the whip he holds extends so far to the left. The position of the man and the horse focuses the clash between light and dark, and centers blue and yellow’s representation of the tension. There is also a contrast between the patches of concentrated color, and the mixes of different colors around them. The overall effect is of a mosaic-like background, with different elements summoning whatever meaning the color has in its specific arrangement.

The emotional reactions elicited from the audience’s confrontation with color create physical reactions; while colors create emotional energy through tension, they create physical energy through harmony. By a “physical” reaction I refer not to an act such as getting up and running around, but conscious movement and reordering of the mind, just as Rimbaud wished to “disorder all the senses. [8]” If one equates an emotional reaction to a subconscious reaction, a physical reaction is a conscious reaction: Susan Harrow says that “signalled by sudden colour saturation, the deep graining of texture, or a strident auditory signal, consciousness — anxious, exasperated, or exhilarated — is relevated at work on the surface of things. [9]” There are clear examples of this synesthetic idea: color in Rimbaud often transcends simple description by becoming suggested movement, thus bridging the gap between pure color and pure movement.  When Rimbaud talks about how “Nature the Mother [resuscitates man] … to love in the rose, and to grow in the corn,” (102-104) the implied colors and movement work together to provide an image with physical energy. “Love” and “rose” work together as a harmonious unit, as do “grow” and “corn.” Love is generally associated with red or pink color; in certain clichés love “blossoms,” like a flower, and flowers are often considered a token of love. Growth is intrinsically connected to nature, and nature’s sustaining force, the sun, is the color of corn. “Lov[ing] in the rose” creates the image of something blooming expansively, and the phrase “grow[ing] in the corn” feels like life emerging, taking energy from the ground and providing for those around it.

Later in the poem, energetic color serves to balance a stanza, as Lysios is “drawn through Phrygian fields/
By lascivious tigers and russet panthers/[and] Reddens the dark mosses along the blue rivers.” (129-131) Using the color red as a verb necessarily gives it the power of movement, and focusing on the moss becoming red rather than becoming bloody makes the color itself important. Bloody earth is just bloody earth, but reddened earth is something more — bloody earth is an object, while reddened earth is an idea. The word reddened creates harmony with the blue rivers: red and blue together, two of the three primary colors, form an almost-whole unit. However, they are a unit with a moving energy, partially because it is missing the third element, and partially because scientific studies have shown that red and blue have corresponding but opposite affects on people. Although this red/blue dichotomy may seem like a source of tension, which would cause a more emotional than physical reaction, reddening earth and blue rivers is actually a balanced combination of elements. The two groups, a color and a noun each, are almost matching. In “reddening earth,” the color is the source of movement, and the ground is stationary; in “blue rivers,” the blue is constant, and the rivers inherently contribute motion. The energy in the way the groupings of words oppose each other fills the line with physical potency, but as a product of harmony.

Circus is also awash with colorful physical energy: the colors sparkle, the lines extend in all directions, the circus performers leap, and even the audience members seem to fidget, looking all around. In The Genesis of Modernism Sven Loevgren discusses how the critics Félix Fénéon and Charles Henry [10] praised Seurat’s usage of strongly emotional lines: the figures in Circus with the most intense colors show off the most intense movement. Each figure is caught in the midst of an action, as though Seurat took a photograph of each posed in a completely balanced moment, resting before flowing into their next movement. Specific origins of energy are found in several spots: the varied curving lines in the right side of the painting leading to the ring, and the two leaping yellow performers. The two bright figures almost form a sphere in the middle of the painting, a bubble that has just burst, spreading yellow energy throughout the painting. In the background the blue and yellow areas chase each other through the bleachers and curving down the curtains, keeping a moving balance between light and dark. In the middle of the ring, the colors of the horse and ringmaster are opposing elements, but the lines in the figures match each other, making the two a forceful but balanced unit. The red figure in the front seems to hold the entire painting together, mirroring the role of the red structural elements in the background. The colors fully bring together the different areas of the painting, creating harmony between the different elements: the yellow leaping characters diffusing yellow throughout the painting, the bright audience surrounded by blue, and the coordination of the red “leader” in front tied to the red beams. While the tensions between the colors produce emotional reactions, the interaction between the lines and color makes the painting come alive, and creates a feeling of dynamic harmony.

Color’s physical power combined with the transforming effect of light creates the most important element of art: movement. For the audience to move into a new world, the work of art must stir up emotion, through currents of developing movement: in Cyril and Lilian Welch’s book on Seurat, they conclude that “We do not, properly speaking, have an experience, and so we cannot have a poem, without a sustaining development.” [11] In the first and last stanzas of Soleil et Chair, the combination of light and color creates constant movement and change: Rimbaud vividly describes the senses of people stirring, and nature growing and awakening. As in the rest of the poem, the specific instances of movement are given character by color and suggested color, emotions and a coursing feeling running throughout the poem. The beginning, as mentioned earlier in this paper, is filled with light and growth, nature and man interacting with a continuous give and take:

 “The Sun, the hearth of affection and life,

Pours burning love on the delighted earth,

And when you lie down in the valley, you can smell

How the earth is nubile and very full-blooded;

5How its huge breast, heaved up by a soul

Is, like God, made of love, and, like woman, of flesh,

And that it contains, big with sap and with sunlight,

The vast pullulation of all embryos!

9And everything grows, and everything rises!”

The lines here move up and down, starting from the beginning, when the Sun is referred to as a “hearth.” The products of a source rise upwards; flame rises up from a hearth; thus, affection and life come out of the sun (an upward motion) and then rain down on the earth (a downward motion). The word “sun” suggests light and fiery colors in the upward motion; the peak and the downward motion keep the “burning” color but also invoke ideas of green, from “life” and “earth”. The earth is “delighted:” delight is experienced in reaction to something, when someone gives us a beautiful present or shows us a stunning vista. It is an emotion of receiving, another downward motion. Lying in the valley and smelling the “full-blooded” earth is an expansive motion, taking in all of the surroundings, preparing for the continuous growth and rising in the last five lines.

Throughout the poem, the joyful mood decrescendos, and the last stanza is marked by much subtler movement. The colors and adjectives are muted; Rimbaud has moved from the sun to the moon, and every word reflects this change:

150“Vaguely lit by the summer moon,

Erect, naked, dreaming in her pallor of gold

Streaked by the heavy wave of her long blue hair,

In the shadowy glade where stars spring in the moss,

154The Dryade gazes up at the silent sky…”

Even at the beginning of the last stanza the movement winds down. Although the Dryade is dreaming (a type of imaginary movement) and the “streak” and “wave” of her hair imply movement, she is standing in one position. The only quiet movement is her “gaz[ing] up at silence” and the “stars spring[ing] in the moss:” a muting substance, like a blanket of grass. Yet the colors and their complements still urge the poem forward. The “summer moon” is glowing, lighting the dryad however vaguely, and even pale gold still shimmers. “The heavy wave of her long blue hair,” while not actively changing, is a phrase that contains suggested movement in almost every word. The poem ends with “A soft wind of love [passing] in the night … The gods listen[ing] to Men, and to the infinite World!” (161, 165) The muted feeling of movement continues, but by the last line, even the quiet, contemplative activity moves outward: the gods are not simply listening, they are listening to the “infinite World.” The enormity of this task suggests extensions into time and space, which requires a constant, expanding energy.

Movement in Circus is also a product of constant energy. The contrasting lines combine with the light and the emotive colors, and although one can identify places of emphasis where the eye can rest, it is difficult to immediately focus on one spot.  As Anthea Callen says in Seurat Re-viewed, “Seurat’s marks develop an autonomy distinct from texture, form, and space.” [12] The colors and subjects dance around, creating movement so strong that with the viewer’s first glance, he dances around the scene with the painting. There are a variety of lines moving in different directions, and the colors combined with the way the lines interact fills the painting with constant motion. The dancer is jumping on one foot with her whip and arms flung in the air; the yellow joker is upside down with his limbs posed energetically. The ringmaster stands still, but the lines of his pose are filled with energy coming from his outer arm and leg, and the similar lines in the horse continue the movement across the painting. The red joker, even while pulling a curtain, is moving the least, and perhaps following from this, looks in the deepest pain. In the ring, the yellows and oranges swarm around, creating a whirlwind-like effect around the red joker. The joker, even while pulling a curtain, is moving the least, and perhaps following from this, looks in the deepest pain. In the background, the straight lines of the bleachers are offset by the fact that the audience members are looking in different places — their lines of vision extend out of the structured upper-left hand side of the painting, providing invisible arrows crisscrossing the painting and adding even more movement. The contrast between the jagged and flowing lines, characterized by their different lighting and coloring, means that every area of the painting has movement in some direction: the intensity and variety of the colors and lines makes Circus so filled with activity that one can become completely lost in the world of the performers.

The end goal of all types of art is to propel the audience (and often performer) into a new world, and this is what the combination of light and color create in both Rimbaud and Seurat’s works. Sven Loevgren described Seurat’s art as “mobilization of all [the artist’s] individual resources, to convert an everyday objective world to a higher, sublimated reality,” [13] and Rimbaud does the same thing. Seurat uses pointillism to combine many different shades of color, and Rimbaud plays with colors next to suggested colors, creating the same effect of colors and light changing other colors. Where Seurat uses shades of yellow and light, Rimbaud liberally uses the sun and the moon, and where Seurat uses contrasting lines, Rimbaud uses adjectives and verbs with connotations of movement, such as “streak,” “grow,” and “teem.” The moving words provide direction to the imagery of the poem, just as the lines in painting create a map for the viewer to follow.  However, this map does not take each viewer to the same place. Georges Roque writes that “Seurat was interested, in other words, in color theory, not necessarily as a set of technical principles to be applied, but as something suggestive of a worldview.” [14] This worldview, expressed by the artist, allows each viewer experiences something completely unique when confronted with great paintings, simply because reactions to light and color are physical and emotional, and thus different in each person. Similarly, Rimbaud, according to Poulet, “prided himself “on inventing a poetic language accessible some day to all the sense.” [15] A language is simply a linguistic framework, so each reader sees different images inspired by the poetry, and is transported into a very personal world.  Thus, the writer or artist does not fully create a new world through their art, but provides a structure, allowing the viewer’s sensations and imagination to envision whatever the framework inspires.

However similar their artistic processes were, there is an important, already-noted difference between Rimbaud and Seurat: although the two were (presumably, given their output) equally passionate about and devoted to art, Rimbaud lost faith in art’s (or his own) powers and gave it up, whereas Seurat sustained his almost scientific belief in his work until he died. This difference can be explained by their attitudes to art, specifically in how the art relates to other people. Rimbaud had a controlling aspect to the way he viewed art because he was personally invested not only his poetry, but in the way it was understood, whereas Seurat was almost singularly interested in “simply apply[ing] [his] method.” [16] Poulet writes that “[Rimbaud] therefore does not merely invent a language; he must direct it to an interlocutor who understands it, who will respond to it, and who, in that sense, is someone like him. He is then both the speaker and the one spoken to.”  Although this double-role creates the same effect for the audience as Seurat’s idea of a “worldview,” it puts the artist in a very different position. Rimbaud, as “the one spoken to,” engages intimately not only with the process of making art, but of experiencing art: he creates an extremely personal position for himself as the audience for whom he is writing.

Not only did Rimbaud want to control both the creating and receiving aspects of his art, his poems were supposed to “disorder all the senses:” this desire to create a completely new and outstanding experience is Rimbaud’s second difference from Seurat. Departing from all realistic sensation is creating a framework not even for another world, but another planet: the extent to which Rimbaud wanted his poetry to change his readers would make it almost impossible for him to continue producing as an artist, while attempting to experience his art as the audience. Rimbaud was continually reinventing, while Seurat kept at least one foot on the ground. French art historian André Chastel asserts that Seurat “set up a meeting point between an ancient hieratic art and the rationalized discipline of the future.” [17] Putting art into a historical trajectory is both a more manageable, and a more distancing idea for one’s art. Rimbaud wanted his writing to create and control a new world, whereas Seurat simply tried to illuminate a new way of viewing the present. Poulet says that Rimbaud “[kept] awakening to a new existence.” [18] — it is not that Seurat did not create a new existence, but his new world was moored between the past and the future. It is no surprise then, that while Seurat took satisfaction and pride in his art, and worked steadfastly, Rimbaud “finally [became] the captive of an endless circle of thoughts and images that beleaguered him, yet of which he was the sole author. [19]” The similar trajectory of Seurat and Rimbaud’s art affects the audience in the same way, but their own relations to their art were so different that in Rimbaud’s case, his movement through his work led him to a world in which art no longer played a part. Considering his case adds another question to the consideration of how art touches people: if the artist engineers how his art touches his audience, what is the process through which the artist’s own work is moving to himself? For Seurat, “method” seems to have been enough, but for Rimbaud, not even the movement or daylight of his post-poetic travels served to “revive” him.

 Works Cited:

Harrow, Susan. The Material, The Real, and The Fractured Self: subjectivity and representation from Rimbaud to Reda, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2004.

Loevgren, Sven. The Genesis of Modernism: Seurat, Gauguin, van Gogh, and French Symbolism in the 1880’s.  Bloomington/London: Indiana University Press, 1971.

Poulet, Georges. Exploding Poetry: Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Trans. Francoise Meltzer. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

Prendeville, Brendan. “Seurat and the Art of Sensation: Perception and Artifact.” Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. University Park Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009.

Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. University Park Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009.

Welch, Cyril and Liliane Welch. Emergence: Baudelaire Mallarmé Rimbaud. State College PA: Bald Eagle Press, 1973.


[1] Prendeville, Brendan. “Seurat and the Art of Sensation: Perception and Artifact.” Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. University Park Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009. Page 157.

[2] Using Oliver Bernard’s 1962 translation.

[3] Poulet, Georges. Exploding Poetry: Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Trans. Francoise Meltzer. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1984. Page 85.

[4] Roques, George. “Seurat and Color Theory.” Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. Page 47.

[5] Harrow, Susan. The Material, The Real, and The Fractured Self: subjectivity and representation from Rimbaud to Reda, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2004. Page 46.

[6] Loevgren, Sven. The Genesis of Modernism: Seurat, Gauguin, van Gogh, and French Symbolism in the 1880’s.  Bloomington/London: Indiana University Press, 1971. Pages 5, 6. Quotation from Paul Signac.

[7] Roques, George. “Seurat and Color Theory.” Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. Page 53.

[8] Quotation from a letter from Paul Rimbaud to Georges Izambard, May 1871.

[9] Harrow, Susan. The Material, The Real, and The Fractured Self: subjectivity and representation from Rimbaud to Reda. Page 7.

[10] proponents of the Orphist movement

[11] Welch, Cyril and Liliane Welch. Emergence: Baudelaire Mallarmé Rimbaud. State College PA: Bald Eagle Press, 1973. Page 99.

[12] Callen, Anthea. “Hors-d’oeuvre: Edges, Boundaries, and Marginality, with Particular Reference to Seurat’s Drawings.” Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. Page 30.

[13] Loevgren, Sven. The Genesis of Modernism. Page 80.

[14] Roques, George. “Seurat and Color Theory.” Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. Page 46.

[15] Poulet, Georges. Exploding Poetry: Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Page 100. Rimbaud quotation from Une saison en enfer, Alchimie du verbe.

[16] “George Seurat, referring to the enthusiastic reception his literary friends gave to his paintings, is said to have remarked: “You see poetry in them; I only apply my method.” Loevgren, Sven. The Genesis of Modernism. Page 159.

[17] Crary, Jonathan. “Illuminations of Disenchantment: Seurat’s Parade de Cirque” Seurat Re-viewed, ed. Paul Smith. Page 91. Quotation from André Chaustel.

[18] Poulet, Georges. Exploding Poetry: Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Page xvi.

[19] Ibid. Page xvii.