Georges SEURAT
French 1859–91
The Seine at Courbevoie 1885
(La Seine à Courbevoie)
oil on canvas
81.4 x 65.2 cm
Private collection, Paris

The Seine at Courbevoie, a work painted by Seurat during his study trips to the island of La Grande Jatte in the west of Paris near Asnières and Clichy, is one of Neo-Impressionism's first achievements. Here for the first time Seurat put into practice his fundamental principle of the division of tones, whereby the painter places individual touches of pure colour side by side on the canvas, allowing the viewer's retina to complete the work of combining these tones together from a distant vantage point. Seurat was to work with divided tones, with varying degrees of rigour, until his death in 1891.