Seurat often painted on golden rectangle canvases and panels
In addition to basing many of his composition decisions on golden ratios, Seurat chose to paint about one-quarter of his work on golden rectangle panels. Of his 103 paintings listed at Wikimedia, at least two dozen of them had a height to width ratio of the golden ratio. Most of these were on small canvases or wood panels. In my analysis I found 25 paintings on golden rectangles with sizes that ranged from 9.4″ to 10.4″ by 5.7″ by 6.8″. Their average variance from a golden ratio was 0.1″. I suppose there are two possibilities here. One is that Seurat intentionally used golden rectangles for these paintings, and just didn’t have or need the tools to cut these panels to a higher yet degree of accuracy. The other is that he intentionally created a panels with a wide range of dimensions all slightly off from the golden ratio and achieved this with amazing accuracy. Which do you suppose is more likely? Given all the other evidence, it seems rather clear that he was incorporating golden ratios in one more creative way. Note in the images below the consistency of proportion in these golden rectangles in landscape orientation.
Here’s another set of his paintings with golden rectangles in portrait orientation:
Seurat may not have attacked every canvas with the golden ratio, but there have been few artists who were more passionate about using the golden ratio in the expression of their art.
A special thanks goes to to John Gury for bringing the golden rectangle dimensions of Seurat’s “Le Jardiner” to my attention. This resulted in my review of these 103 Seurat paintings for golden rectangles in the dimensions of the canvases or panels, and the discovery of these two dozen other examples.