Aman-Jean (Portrait of Edmond François Aman-Jean)

Artist: Georges Seurat (French, Paris 1859–1891 Paris)

Date: 1882–83

Medium: Conté crayon on Michallet paper

Dimensions: 24 1/2 × 18 11/16 in. (62.2 × 47.5 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960

Accession Number: 61.101.16


Seurat's study of his friend the artist Aman-Jean (1860–1936) ranks as one of the great portrait drawings of the nineteenth century. Aman-Jean and Seurat were both students at the École Municipale du Dessin and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris; they shared a studio in 1879. The drawing is not a preparatory study for a painting but a finished work. Shown in the Paris Salon of 1883, it was the first work to be exhibited by the twenty-three-year-old artist. Seurat's signature use of conté crayon on textured laid Michallet paper of high quality resulted in drawings with luminosity and tonal harmony, and the classic balanced pose of the artist in profile, focusing intently on his work, gives the image an enduring, timeless quality.