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A River Bank (The Seine at Asnières)
Georges Seurat
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This small panel may be linked to Seurat’s earliest sketches and ideas for Bathers at Asnières (1883–4), although it is not normally included in the 13 sketches which have been tied to that painting.

The carefully organised geometry of the scene, which divides the picture into distinct sections, can be seen in the Bathers. The vertical axis of the striped pole on the left, which is echoed by another vertical in the distance, is countered by the horizontal band of the distant riverbank. The diagonal line of the closer riverbank forms one side of the almost triangular shape of the water – a feature which also appears in the Bathers.

Seurat has used long, horizontal brushstrokes for the water and choppier strokes for the riverbank and foliage. Although he had not yet developed his pointillist technique of painting with small dots of colour, it is perhaps anticipated here, especially in the juxtaposed dabs of pink, blue and yellow-green in the lower-right foreground.

Key facts
Artist Georges Seurat
Artist dates 1859 - 1891
Full title A River Bank (The Seine at Asnières)
Date made about 1883
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 15.8 x 24.7 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Heinz Berggruen, 1995
Inventory number NG6559
Location in Gallery Room 43
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