Nearly two centuries ago, Monet and his Impressionist peers showed the world that a cohesive painting could be created by breaking up brushstrokes. This is well illustrated by a scene in 1995’s Clueless:

Tai: What’s a monet? Cher: It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.

Georges Seurat took this technique to the extreme, condensing strokes into dots and pioneering the Neo-Impressionist form of Pointillism. These tiny adjacent dots of contrasting colors effectively create a trompe d’oeil for the observer. Standing up close, you can see each dot, but at a distance, you perceive new colors and rich textures. You can see this phenomenon at work when Ferris Beuller and friends stared down Seurat’s Grande Jatte on that infamous day off.

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