The Art and Where to Find It

Bathers at Asniers

Artist: Georges Seurat

Year: 1884

Location: Corn Law Rhymer, High Street. The original is on display at The National Gallery, London.

A large scale oil-on-canvas painting showing a group of young workmen relaxing on the River Seine at Asnires, an industrial suburb west of Paris. Painted whilst Seurat was 24, he drew 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. He produced the final composition, measuring 2m by 3m, in his studio on the rue Chabrol. X-ray imaging of the Bathers has revealed that some components of the composition were altered as Seurats work on the canvas progressed, while other components were probably not in the painting at all, as he first painted it. The National Gallery (where the original is on display) states that 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." Seurat went on to invent the pointillist technique using countless tiny dots of pure colour, placed in close proximity to each other. Georges Seurat, Bathers at Asniers Copyright The National Gallery, London.

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