About This Artwork

Georges Seurat
French, 1859-1891

Final Study for "Bathers at Asnières", 1883

Oil on panel
6 1/4 x 9 7/8 in. (15.8 x 25.1 cm)
Inscribed lower right: Seurat

Gift of the Adele R. Levy Fund, Inc., 1962.578

Georges Seurat’s monumental Bathers at Asnières (1884), for which this is a preparatory work, is now in the National Gallery, London. A scene of men and boys on the bank of the Seine River in the working-class suburb of Asnières, it differs greatly in mood from the sparkling scenes of riverside leisure painted by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Nevertheless, the focus on modernity, use of pure, light pigments, and airy brushwork shows how this young artist furthered the most progressive tendencies of “classic” Impressionism. The same year he exhibited this painting he also began making studies of a site directly across the river for his monumental Sunday on La Grande Jatte.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, French Painting 1100-1900, October 18-December 2, 1951, cat. 92.

New York, Wildenstein & Co., A Loan Exhibition of Seurat and His Friends, November 18-December 26, 1953, cat. 4 (ill.)

Chicago, Art Institute, Seurat: Paintings and Drawings, January 16-March 7, 1958; traveled to New York, Museum of Modern Art, March 24-May 11, 1958.

New York, Guggenheim Museum, Neo-Impressionism, February 7 - April 8, 1968, no cat. no.

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Georges Seurat 1859-1891, April 9–August 12, 1991; traveled to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 24, 1991 to January 12, 1992, cat. 110, pp. 160-1.

London, The National Gallery, Seurat and the Bathers, July 2-September 28, 1997, cat. 60.

Chicago, Art Institute, Seurat and the Making of “La Grande Jatte,” June 16–September 19, 2004, cat. 20.

Paris, France, Musée d'Orsay, "Le Néo-Impressionnisme de Seurat á Paul Klee", March 14- July 10, 2005.

New York, The Museum of Modern Art, George Seurat: The Drawings, October 9, 2007- January 7, 2008, pl. 103.

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 50 (ill.).

Publication History

C. de Hauke, Seurat et Son Oeuvre (Paris, 1961), no. 93, pp. 58-9.

Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report 1962-1963 (Chicago, 1963), p. 13.

W. Homer, Seurat and the Science of Painting, 1963.

Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly, vol. 57, no. 4 (1963-64), p. 5, ill. p. 4.

J. Rewald, Post Impressionism from Van Gogh to Gauguin, 3rd ed., revised (New York, 1978), ill. p. 74.

R. Tilston, Seurat (London, 1991), pp. 70-71.

Sarah Carr-Gomm, Seurat (London, 1993), p. 16 (ill.), 142, no. 16.
Sylvie Patry, Le Néo-Imoressionnisme de Seurat á Paul Klee, Exh. cat. (Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2005), p. 16, p. 78, p. 108, ill. 109.

Richard Shiff, “Seurat Distracted,” George Seurat: The Drawings, Exh. cat. (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007), p. 26, ill. 205, pl. 103.

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 50, p. 111 (ill.).

Ownership History

Rober Caze (died 1886), Paris [according to Dorra and Rewald 1959; see also Seurat's list of owners of his works where Caze is named as the owner of "Esquisse de la baignade," reprinted in Appendix D, p. 380 in New York 1991]; by inheritance to his widow, Mme Caze (died 1887), Paris; probably in sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 26, 1887 [according to Dorra and Rewald 1959]. Gary [according to Dorra and Rewald 1595]. Sprenger, Paris [according to Dorra and Rewald 1959]. Wildenstein & Co., New York by 1948; sold to Dr. and Mrs. David M. Levy, New York, 1949; given to the Art Institute, 1962 by Adele Levy, whose husband Dr. Levy (died 1977) retained life interest in the painting.

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