Georges Seurat (1859-1891) was a leader in the Post-Impressionist movement. He was born in Paris and first studied with sculptor Justin Lequien before attending the École des Beaux-Arts in 1878 and 1879. After his first major painting, Bathers at Asnières, was rejected by the Paris Salon, he and other artists formed the Société des Artistes Indépendants. He befriended Paul Signac who shared his interest in Pointillism.
Prolific as a draftsman as well, Seurat produced a large group of drawings despite a career cut short by his death caused likely by diphtheria at 31. He lived secretly with Madeleine Knobloch who birthed his two sons and posed for the painting, Jeune Femme se Poudrant. Knobloch also died in her 30s and their sons died in infancy.