Lot 140
  • 140

Georges Seurat

200,000 - 300,000 USD
341,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Georges Seurat
  • Au bord du village
  • Signed Seurat (lower left)
  • Oil on cradled panel


Ambroise Vollard, Paris (possibly)
Paul Signac, Paris (acquired by 1898)
Berthe Paul Signac, Paris (by descent from the above)
Ginette Signac, Paris (by descent from the above)
Sam Salz, New York
Acquired from the above on December 26, 1952


Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Rétrospective Georges Seurat, 1908-09, no. 19
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Seurat and his Friends, 1953, no. 2
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seurat: Drawings and Oil Sketches from New York Collections, 1977, no. 45
Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais & New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Georges Seurat 1859-1891, 1991-92, no. 90, illustrated in color in the catalogue


Paul Signac, "What Neo-Impressionism Means," in Art News, LII, no. 8, December 1953, illustrated p. 56
John Rewald, "Extraits du journal inédit de Paul Signac, III, 1898-1899," in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, XLII, July-August 1953, fig. 5, illustrated p. 35
Henri Dorra & John Rewald, Seurat: L'oeuvre peint, biographie et catalogue crititque, Paris, 1959, no. 68, illustrated p. 65
César M. de Hauke, Seurat et son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1961, no. 53, illustrated p. 29
Pierre Courthion, Seurat, New York, 1968, illustrated in color p. 72
Fiorella Minervino, L'Opera completa di Seurat, Milan, 1972, no. 60, illustrated p. 95
André Parinaud, Les Peintres et leur École: Barbizon, les origines de l'Impressionnisme, Paris, 1994, illustrated in color p. 130

Catalogue Note

One of several landscapes from around 1883 depicting the Paris outskirts, this lively canvas is especially notable for its Impressionist palette in combination with impulsive and irregular brushstrokes, signaling the transition in his oeuvre from Impressionism toward the Post-Impressionism and Pointillism of his most famous paintings.

Painted at a time when Impressionists such as Monet, Pissarro and Renoir were concentrating on nuances of color and searching for alternatives to the more established methods of the 1870s, Au bord du village demonstrates that Seurat had already set a course that would lead him rapidly away from the more subjective aspects of the Impressionist approach to a purer form of visual language. The subtle but careful hatchwork of brushstrokes, especially evident in the foreground at right, reveal the early manifestation of the Pointillist technique which Seurat would fully develop over the next two years.

With his extraordinary eye for form and an understanding of the relationship between color and light, Seurat could render an entire scene with a minimum of details. He painted many images of rural life, often featuring farmers and fishermen hard at work in fields or on river banks, and the lack of human subject in this particular landscape leads the viewer to search for one: "The hidden subjects in Seurat's work challenge the spectator's own imaginative empathy... Since we cannot penetrate to the revealed but distant scene, we must search the forms it has taken for clues to fill with meaning" (Erich Franz & Bernd Growe, Georges Seurat, Drawings, Boston, 1984, p. 61).