Seurat Un Baignade Asniers

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.

Signed: Seurat.

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.

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