La Luzerne, Saint-Denis (1884 - 1885)
About this artwork
Seurat's use of short, unblended, strongly coloured brushstrokes has created a vivid and vibrant work. Distant farm buildings and houses are seen across a field of alfalfa (luzerne), punctuated throughout by red poppy flowers. This is part of the broad plain, which in the nineteenth century, still separated Paris from Saint-Denis (now a northern suburb of the capital). It is a fascinating example of the painting technique Seurat developed, called 'divisionism' or 'pointillism'. The English artist and influential critic Roger Fry (1866-1934) owned this painting and was instrumental in introducing works of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to the British public.
- title: La Luzerne, Saint-Denis
- accession number: NG 2324
- artist: Georges SeuratFrench (1859 - 1891)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Painting
- subject: Flowers Post Impressionism
- materials: Oil on canvas
- date created: 1884 - 1885
- measurements: Irregular: 65.30 x 81.30 cm (framed: 83.20 x 98.50 x 7.50 cm)
- credit line: Purchased with the aid of the Art Fund, a Treasury Grant and the family of Roger Fry 1973
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Seurat's distinctive paintings, famous for their 'pointillism', are often described as neo-impressionist in style. This refers to their links with, but also their development away from, Impressionism. Supported by his family and free from financial worries, Seurat studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. While sharing the Impressionists' fascination with translating light effects into paint through vibrant colour he felt that their compositions lacked structure. He was also interested in achieving a more scientific and rational approach to painting and devised the technique of using small dots of unmixed colour side by side to produce an 'optical mixture.'