Skip to main content
Key facts
Full title The Rainbow: Study for 'Bathers at Asnières'
Artist Georges Seurat
Artist dates 1859 - 1891
Date made 1883
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 15.5 x 24.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by Heinz Berggruen, 1995
Inventory number NG6555
Location Room 43
Art route(s) B and C
Collection Main Collection
The Rainbow: Study for 'Bathers at Asnières'
Georges Seurat
/

This is the only sketch for Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières that includes a rainbow, which was painted over the sky once the paint had dried. Although perhaps a rather contrived image, the mottled sky suggests Seurat may have seen a rainbow. It is evidence of his attention to particular effects of light and atmosphere throughout the sketches – and in the final painting, with its effect of hazy morning sunshine.

The picture looks as though it was at least partly painted on site, rather than in the studio. For example, the black barges on the right and building in the background, depicted with just a few swift strokes, may have been painted directly on location. However, this is more developed than a quick sketch as it shows signs of having been composed rather than simply observed. The three figures have been deliberately placed with equal space between them.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo