The new Google Doodle marks the 162nd birthday of a French painter

There is a new Google Doodle to mark the 162nd birthday of a French painter.

The Doodle is in honour of the innovative artist Georges Seurat, who became a big influence in his relatively short time on Earth.

The Google Doodle is often used in celebration of influential people or special days, this can include anyone from artists, inventors, politicians or campaigners and anything like famous battles, protests or anniversaries.

Recent doodles include a tribute to St Andrew's Day on November 30, as well as Dr Harold Moody, the British doctor who saved countless lives during the blitz and campaigned for race equality.

So who was Georges Seurat?

Who was Georges Seurat and what did he invent?

Georges Seurat was a French painter born in Paris on December 2, 1859.

The painter is credited with pioneering the painting technique of 'pointillism' and he is known as a 'post-impressionist' painter.

Instead of the more traditional style of mixing colours on a paint pallet, Seurat used small dots and flecks of paint to create this work. It is why the new doodle appears as a collection of small dots to make one larger image.

He is best-known for 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte', which even those who do not count themselves as anything close to an art expert may recognise. The Google Doodle animation eventually turns itself into a replica of this very painting.

Another work of his considered a masterpiece, 'Bathers at Asnières', is on display at the National Gallery in London.

How did Georges Seurat die?

Goerge Seurat only lived until he was 31, but his work has still become extremely influential.

It is not known exactly the iconic artist died and his passing has been put down to any number of things like infectious angina, diphtheria, meningitis, or pneumonia.

Whatever it was, it appears his son died from the same infection only two weeks later.

His own work is believed to have been influenced by famous impressionist artists like Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, in particular for how they represented light in paintings with a non-conventional style.

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At the time of his death at his parents' home in Paris, his partner was pregnant with a second child, who eventually died at birth.

That partner was Madeleine Knobloch, who can be seen painted in the painting 'Jeune femme se poudrant', which means 'young woman powdering herself'.

Where can I see Seurat paintings in the UK?

George Seurat's most famous work, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, is on display in Chicago.

For UK enthusiasts who may have had their heads turned by the Google Doodle, one painting is on display in Gallery A at the National Gallery and tickets are free, though you may wish to pay a donation.

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The gallery itself is enthusiastic about the work of Seurat, stating: "Seurat combined a traditional approach, based on his academic training, with a study of modern techniques, such as Impressionism. Seurat's disciplined work, which contrasts with that of many of his Impressionist contemporaries, was very influential."

The Tate owns two more paintings by the loved artist, but they are not on display at the moment.

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