Petitjean had come to Paris in 1872 , studying first with the academic master Alexandre Cabanel. Everything changed when he befriended Georges Seurat in 1884 and was invited to join the Neo-Impressionists artists in 1886 . The term Neo-Impressionism was coined by the art critic Félix Fénéon in a review of the last Impressionist exhibition in 1886 , where divisionist paintings by Seurat, Signac and Camille Pissarro were hung together in one room. Petitjean exhibited in Paris and Brussels, in spite of struggling financially and earning most of his income as a teacher. Only at a small group show in 1899 at Galerie Durand-Ruel did he sell enough paintings to finally achieve some financial stability. In a notebook in which the artist carefully recorded his output after 1886 , numerous paintings, drawings and watercolors are listed as having been being gifted or sold to creditors in exchange for services, or to pay bills, while in several years no sales are recorded at all. This was complicated by the decline of the appeal of the movement in general, even for artists Pissarro and Signac, after the death of Seurat in 1891 . Petitjean, however, never abandoned pointillism as a method of artistic expression. Our work, executed within a few years of Georges Seurat’s La Grande Jatte , dates to 1890 – 94 , the years when Petitjean’s work was closest to Seurat’s in technique and theory.
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