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A young peasant boy, silent and immobile against a simple grass background, ignores the scene before him. He is like an island of dark and brooding in the midst of the glory of the strong sunshine that floods the landscape surrounding him. The high horizon, the sheer depth of the pictorial space and the placing of the boy to the far right of the composition contribute to a feeling of awkwardness that emphasises the solitude of the boy.
Seurat did not intend this painting as a naturalistic scene of rural life. Unlike Monet who strives to capture movement Seurat aims for a static quality – isolating rather than integrating the figure in his surroundings.
oil on canvas
H 63.5 x W 79.6 cm
presented by the Trustees of D. W. T. Cargill, 1950