Georges Seurat: Bathers at Asniéres
Located now in the National Gallery of London, this large picture was Seurat’s first major composition, painted when he had not yet turned 25. He intended it to be a grand statement with which he would make his mark at the official Salon in the spring of 1884. It shows several men and boys relaxing in the sun on the banks of the Seine, between the bridges at Asnières and Courbevoie, north-west of central Paris. In the background is a railway bridge that partly hides a parallel road bridge, as well as the chimneys of the gas plant and factories at Clichy, where some of the men may work. Recreational sailboats can be seen on the river.