Seurat Un Baignade Asniers
Bathers at Asni�res
Full title:’Bathers at Asni�res (‘ Une Baignade, Asni�res ‘)’
Georges Seurat, 1859 – 1891
NG 3908.Bought by the Trustees of the Courtauld Fund, 1924.
Asni�res is an industrial suburb west of Paris on the River Seine. The present work shows a group of
young workmen taking their leisure by the river.
This was the first of Seurat ‘s large – scale compositions. He drew cont� crayon studies for individual
figures using live models, and made small oil sketches on site which he used to help design the
composition and record effects of light and atmosphere. Some fourteen oil sketches and ten drawings
survive. The final composition, painted in the studio, combines information from both.
While the painting was not executed using Seurat ‘s pointillist technique, which he had not yet invented,
the artist later reworked areas of this picture using dots of contrasting colour to create a vibrant,
luminous effect. For example, dots of orange and blue were added to the boy ‘s hat.
The simplicity of the forms and the use of regular shapes clearly defined by light recalls paintings by the
Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca. In his use of figures seen in profile, Seurat may also have
been influenced by ancient Egyptian art.
Oil on canvas
201 x 300 cm.