Bathers at Asnieres, 1884
by Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
The National Gallery, London
For 2012/13, the one-day Take One
Picture Continuing Professional Development courses,
run by National Gallery Education, will focus on ‘Bathers
at Asnieres’ by Georges Seurat.
Using the focus painting as a springboard, the Take
One Picture course will inspire teachers to look at
ways of using paintings in the classroom to promote
cross-curricular learning and suggest ways in to paintings
to develop pupils' confidence and skill in responding
Young men swim and relax on the banks of a river on
a hazy summer’s day. It is the 1880s and the river
is the Seine, which runs through the French capital,
The scene shows a stretch of the river between Asnières
and Courbevoie to the north-west of the city, with the
factories and smoking chimneys of Clichy in the background.
A steam train can be glimpsed roaring across the railway
The young men and boys are in varying states of undress.
Piles of clothing lie on the grassy riverbank beside
On the far right a brown scull just enters the picture.
Further into the centre a small green boat is being
moved along by a man punting. The passengers are a man
in a top hat and a lady with a parasol.
It was not until many years after his death in 1891
at the age of just 32 that Seurat’s influence
was fully acknowledged and that Bathers at Asnières
received the iconic status it holds today. Seurat is now regarded as one of the most important
A display of work produced by schools based on this
painting will be shown at the National Gallery in Summer
2014, and a selection will be published on this website.
To be considered for the gallery display, submit examples
of how a whole class or school has used the picture
in a cross-curricular way (no original work please)
to the Education Department by Monday 4 November 2013.
© The National Gallery,