Seurat made more than fifty oil studies and drawings for his second large-scale canvas, 'Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte' (about 1884-6, Art Institute of Chicago).
This sketch, one of the earliest, would have been painted in the open air at La Grande Jatte, an island in the Seine immediately opposite the riverbank which the artist depicted in 'Bathers at Asnières'.
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