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Georges Seurat, 'The Morning Walk', 1885

Key facts
Full title The Morning Walk
Artist Georges Seurat
Artist dates 1859 - 1891
Date made 1885
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 24.9 × 15.7 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Heinz Berggruen, 1995
Inventory number NG6557
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Morning Walk
Georges Seurat

This panel was most likely painted in 1885 and relates to a medium-size canvas, The Seine at Courbevoie (now in a private collection in Paris). Seurat may have painted it before he decided to produce a finished picture of this particular view of the river, or it may be a preparatory study.

The vertical format is unusual for Seurat, but it allowed him to construct the composition as a series of stacked horizontal bands formed by the foreground, the river, the far riverbank and the houses and trees of Courbevoie in the distance.

Painting on location, he worked rapidly, leaving traces of the bare wood of the panel visible between the brushstrokes. Although he had developed his pointillist technique of painting in small dots of colour by 1885, his debt to Impressionism can be seen in the large fluid strokes of unmixed colour, particularly on the water. Seurat modified them according to the object or surface they describe.

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