A Study for 'Une Baignade'
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A Study for 'Une Baignade' about 1883
This small oil sketch could fit inside the lid of Seurat's painting box, the perfect size for painting outside. It shows workers resting and a boy washing a horse in the Seine at Asnières, identifiable from the distant bridge and factory chimneys. The contemporary subject, strong colour and lively brushwork reflect Seurat's awareness of Impressionism. This is one of thirteen sketches, in addition to ten drawings, Seurat made while working up his monumental finished composition of 'The Bathers, Asnières' (The National Gallery, London). The painting was rejected by the Salon in 1884, but exhibited at the newly formed independent artists' group.

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

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.

Paris Salon

The Paris Salon was the official exhibiting space of the French Academy. Established in 1673 it moved to the Salon d'Apollon at the Louvre in 1725, when it became known as the ‘Salon de Paris’. In 1737 the annual exhibitions were made public and artists were invited to submit their work before a jury. Exhibiting at the Salon and receiving official recognition were vital for an artist's career. In the late 19th century artists became disillusioned with the jury system and its influence declined as a number of independent exhibiting societies were established. The government withdraw its official support in 1881.

Composition, Impressionism, Paris Salon

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 2222
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 15.90 x 25.00 cm (framed: 33.00 x 42.20 x 4.10 cm)
  • Credit Presented by Sir Alexander Maitland in memory of his wife Rosalind 1960