Bathers at Asnières  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bathers at Asnières (1884, Une Baignade, Asnières) is an oil-on-canvas painting by the French artist Georges-Pierre Seurat, the first of his two masterpieces on the monumental scale. Seurat borrowed from sources such as those of the fresco painters of the 15th century, the French classicism of Nicolas Poussin, and of contemporary Impressionism to create a unified canvas of a suburban, but placid Parisian riverside scene. The isolated figures and their clothes piled sculpturally on the riverbank, together with the trees, and austere boundary walls and buildings, are presented in a formal layout. A combination of complex brushstroke techniques, and a meticulous application of contemporary colour theory bring to the composition a sense of gentle vibrancy and timelessness.

Seurat was twenty-four years old when he painted Bathers at Asnières, and he was to live for just another seven years. The Bathers puzzled many of Seurat’s contemporaries, and the picture was not widely acclaimed during his lifetime. An appreciation of it grew, however, during the twentieth century, and today it hangs in the National Gallery, London, where it is considered one of the highlights of the gallery’s collection of paintings.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bathers at Asnières" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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