Bathers at Asnieres

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  • 1 十年前

    Une Baignade, Asnières


    1883-84 (retouched 1887); "Bathing at Asnières"; 79 x 118 1/2 in; Signed, bottom left; National Gallery, London

    Painted in the same year as Pissarro's The Pork Butcher, Seurat's first large picture shows in contrast the monumental sense of form which complemented the method (still in process of development) of dividing color. This was a move away from Impressionism though there is an Impressionist atmosphere in the landscape background with the river distance, the Courbevoie bridge and the smoking factory chimneys of the industrial Paris suburb of Asnières. In Impressionist fashion also he made a number of small oil sketches from which the final composition was derived. The sketches have the character that belongs to work carried out on the spot.

    Asnières was to Seurat and his friend Signac what Argenteuil had been to Monet and Renoir. The Seine and its boats offered a like attraction; the bridge at Courbevoie and the island of the Grande Jatte, seen across the river from the bathing-place on the right, were also to furnish material for magnificent pictures. Une Baignade is a whole collection of Seurat's motifs---and a truly remarkable work for a young man of twenty-four. The kinship with Piero della Francesca that has often been remarked is distinct in the ordered rhythm of design and the firmly simplified contours. The feeling of repose is heightened by the lateral directions of figures, stylized shadows and river bank.

    The picture was exhibited at the first Salon des Indépendants in 1884 and in 1886 was one of the `Works in Oil and Pastel by the Impressionists of Paris' exhibited by Durand-Ruel at the National Academy of Design in New York. Too original to find immediate favor either in Paris or New York, it received harsh criticism. The critic in an American paper who described Une Baignade as the product of `a vulgar, coarse and commonplace mind' seems with every epithet to present the exact opposite opinion to that with which the work is regarded now.


    Planning the composition of Bathing at Asnieres, Seurat made field trips to the island of La Grande Jatte; the approximate site can be checked on any map of the Paris suburbs. But this first of his big canvases was executed in the studio, merely drawing upon the preliminary studies made outdoors.

    Coming from Paris, Beaubourg wrote to Coquiot, the island was on one's right, more or less opposite the spot where people swim on Sundays, halfway between the Bineau bridge and the northern tip of the island, just where the river makes a sharp bend toward Courbevoie and Asnieres. Seurat was often to be seen painting there.

    Jules Christophe left this short description of Bathing at Asnieres: Water, air, the railroad bridge in the distance, boats, shimmering trees, seven men and boys in various stages of undress, either in the water or sprawled upon the grass. Not many people saw the canvas (at the Salon des Independants it was relegated to the bar), but it represented a great deal of work.....


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    Other information:

    2007-05-09 13:52:02 補充:

    Georges-Pierre Seurat (December 2, 1859 – March 29, 1891)

    2007-05-16 19:27:48 補充:


    其實你貼的那篇根本成篇都係抒情,得丁屎咁多資料,如果唔係排頭位,D人唔睇內容閉著投排第一位的票,邊有咁多票淨係輸一票?發問者 pearl_kwok1995 就是有看內容(因為他發問,所以當然會看),所以就投 #2。

  • HT
    Lv 7
    1 十年前

    Bathers at Asnieres. 1883-84 (retouched 1887) 79 x 118 1/2 in ... Text from Kenneth Clark, Looking at Pictures. ... However often I look at the Baignade. ...

    THERE ARE MOMENTS on hot summer days when we are prepared for a miracle. The stillness and the gently vibrating haze give to our perceptions a kind of finality, and we wait listening for some cosmic hum to enchant, like Papageno's bells, the uncouth shapes and colors which surround us, so that they all dance to the same tune and finally come to rest in a harmonious order. In life the miracle doesn't happen, and it is rare enough in art, because great painters have usually created imaginary worlds, outside the range of our ordinary visual experience. But it happens in Seurat's Baignade. As I catch sight of this large canvas at the end of the gallery, framed by a door so that the illusion of reality is increased, I feel that the haze and stillness of summer have at last fulfilled their promise. Time has stopped, everything has become its proper shape, and every shape is in its proper place.

    it is this aspect of the Baignade that first attracts my attention. I start by looking at the heap of clothes and boots beside the central figure, and am fascinated by the way in which these commonplace objects have been given a monumental character, and have been set off against one another, light against dark, so that each area has its full value both as tone and silhouette. The same is true of the bowler hats, panamas and wrinkled trousers which proceed in orderly sequence up the left hand side of the canvas and end in an austere construction of walls and trees. At this point my eye has penetrated into the distance, and once there it moves with exhilaration through the shimmering summer light till it is arrested by the dark head of the principal figure.

    Seurat was born in 1859 and at the age of eighteen became a student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. His teacher was Henri Lehmann, one of Ingres' best pupils, and his earliest surviving works are copies of Ingres, Holbein and other masters of precision. He was a serious, diligent young man, but when, in 1879, he left the Beaux Arts he had risen only to forty-seventh place, and no one prophesied for him a brilliant future.

    These were the creative years of Impressionism, but there is no evidence that the young Seurat showed the faintest interest in open air painting till after he bad spent his year of military service at Brest; and it is characteristic of him that the revelation of light should have come to him as he gazed on the sea during the hours of sentry duty. The solitude, the patience, the immobility and the discipline allowed something in his nature to grow which would have shrunk in the cheerful picnics of Monet, Renoir and their friends at Argenteuil. He saw men not as sunny and convivial presences, but as lonely silhouettes against the horizon; and I believe that this determined his style when he was once more free to be a painter. A complete change was necessary. As a disciple of Ingres he had learned to turn perceptions into line. He now set about a series of drawings in which there should be no lines at all, but only areas of tone. It was one of those moments of revelation when an inarticulate man suddenly finds his own language. Through the medium of conte crayon on rough grained paper Seurat felt able to simplify the most complex subjects and give monumental stillness to the most ephemeral impressions - his father eating dinner or the last seconds of a winter sunset.