La Luzerne, Saint-Denis. 1884 – 1885
Oil on canvas
Measurements:Irregular: 65.30 x 81.30 cm/framed: 83.20 x 98.50 x 7.50 cm
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.