La Luzerne, Saint-Denis 1884 - 1885

On Display SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY

Seurat's use of short, unblended, strongly coloured brushstrokes has created a vivid and vibrant work. Distant farm buildings and houses are seen across a field of alfalfa (luzerne), punctuated throughout by red poppy flowers. This is part of the broad plain, which in the nineteenth century, still separated Paris from Saint-Denis (now a northern suburb of the capital). It is a fascinating example of the painting technique Seurat developed, called 'divisionism' or 'pointillism'. The English artist and influential critic Roger Fry (1866-1934) owned this painting and was instrumental in introducing works of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to the British public.

Glossary Open

Divisionism

The name used by Neo-Impressionist painters for their theory of colour separation on which Pointillist painting (a technique in which dots of colour are applied creating optical effects) is based. The two terms are frequently used interchangeably.

Impressionism

An influential style of painting that originated in France in the 1870s with artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They were interested in capturing the changing effects of light, frequently exploring this through landscape scenes painted in the open air.

Pointillism

The painting technique in which dots of colour are applied to create optical effects. This technique was developed by Neo-impressionist painters such as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac who used the term 'Divisionism' to describe their theories of colour separation on which the technique is based. The two terms are frequently used interchangeably.

Post-Impressionism

Used to cover a range of different painting styles that emerged following Impressionism in Europe. This includes artists such as Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Divisionism, Impressionism, Pointillism, Post-Impressionism

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 2324
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size Irregular: 65.30 x 81.30 cm (framed: 83.20 x 99.10 x 7.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased with the aid of the Art Fund, a Treasury Grant and the family of Roger Fry 1973