The singularity of Seurat’s drawings lies in part to his use of the medium of conté crayon and textured, hand-made Michalet paper. He was the first to master the combination of these two elements to create an array of dazzling effects ranging from intense black to the most vibrant light. As Meyer Shapiro has argued, the radiance which seems to emanate from Seurat’s drawings lies in the fact that the conté crayon only marked the upper “ridge” of the laid lines of the paper, leaving the white “groove” untouched, so the white paper seems to glow beneath the layer of black crayon. Contrary to the artist’s paintings where the luminous colored dots adhere to the surface of the canvas, here the light emanates from within the drawing itself.
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