In <Le Cirgue> Seurat presents the interpretation of the mass society absorbed in mass entertaimnent and the position of the artist in that society.
The arena of the circus is a place where the illusion consumed by tl1e mass society is provided. The illusion is created by artists' expertise and highly delicate skills. Seurat caricatures the entire society absorbed in the illusion created by the female acrobat, Through the image of mass entertaitunent called circus, He hinted about the elements of division, existing in the unified facade of the mass society indulging in the same entertainment at the same time, by separating the classes of the crowd.
The clown in the foreground is the self-portrait symbolizing the position of the artist as an interpreter of the mass society. He is the symbol of the self alienated avant-garde artist who cooly examines the whole society at a distance. Seurat, unlike the Impressionists, didn't represent the experience of me mass culture as instant sensations. He tried to present the explanation of the social mechanism creating the illusion of the mass culture through a pictorial system based on the symbolist theories of expression-the theories of expressing emotions by the directions of lines and colors of Humbert de Superville and Charles Henry.
Seurat's objective and impersonal way of interpretation is expressed through abstract forms and the inhumane figures diagranunatized like machines. The distance between the viewer and the scene is presented even more clearly by the curtain, which serves as a double frame. It implies that the spectator looking at the painting is not looking directly at the scene but indirectly through the inter pretation of the clown in the foreground. Besides, the frame of the picture painted in blue stresses the fact that the image Seurat presents is not the reality itself, but a creation of the artist. Such distancing clarifies that the world of circus he presented is not the reproduction of the reality which can be absorbed in,but a world of illusion.