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Seurat painted this work while holidaying on the Normandy coast in the summer of 1885. He made a study of this motif on the spot, but would have refined and developed the image in the studio. Seurat aimed to place painting on a scientific basis in its treatment of light and colour and, using a style known as Divisionism, juxtaposed small brushstrokes of complementary colours to create a luminous effect in his works. He painted the border on the canvas, but the frame is much later in date.

August 2004