The Stone Breakers, Le Raincy

Georges-Pierre Seurat (French, 1859-1891)
c. 1882
Oil on canvas 
14-3/4 x 17-7/8 in. (37.5 x 45.4 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

Seurat is today best remembered as the inventor of Neo-Impressionism, a famous technique that used tiny dabs of contrasting color to create continuous images. This study—one of eight he devoted to the punishing labor of stone breakers—precedes Seurat’s revolutionary new manner by several years but already indicates his departure from the high Impressionist style. Picked out with short strokes of contrasting color, a pile of stones at the center of the composition appears convincingly pulverized, broken down from masses into particles, from form into color.


Léon Appert (1837-1925, brother-in-law of artist), Par, by descent to;
Léopold Appert, Paris, by descent to;
Mme. Vve. Léopold Appert, Paris.
[?]Jacques and Pierre Puybonnieux, Paris, in 1934 – still in 1952[?]
Private collection, Paris, in 1958.
[Stephen Hahn Gallery, New York, 1968 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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