Perhaps it was the Cirque de Soleil at the Oscars, or that Dan is reading Night Circus, a new novel by Erin Morgenstern. Maybe it's that I'm still in the mood for fun! Anyway, I've spent some time today searching for art that depicts the circus and came upon these iconic paintings by Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec and Chagall. All three were post-Impressionists and their use of color and style depict the whimsy, magic and mystique of the center ring.

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The Circus by George Seurat
Seurat was born in France in 1859. Perhaps best known for his painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, Seurat was the father of pointillism, a technique which used thousands upon thousands of small dots of paint to achieve the effect he desired.
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The Circus Horse by Marc Chagall
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Le Jongleur de Paris by Marc Chagall
Chagall was a prodigious artist, who worked in many media outside of painting, including stained glass, tapestries and sculpture. Born in Russia in 1887, into a Jewish family, his larger works also include many religious themes. His paintings are well known for his explosive use of color. 
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In the Circus by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Another Frenchman, Toulouse-Lautrec was not only a painter, but also created prints and posters. A friend of Van Gogh, he spent much of his time in Montmartre, the district that was home to many artists of the time.

For additional fun, here's a video of Alexander Calder, well-known for his playful mobiles and sculpture. In this video, he shows off his fantastical circus creations. Isn't it great to see how much fun he's having???



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