Port-en-Bessin Outer Harbor at High Tide (1888) by Georges Seurat

Port-en-Bessin Outer Harbor at High Tide - Georges Seurat - 1888

Artwork Information

TitlePort-en-Bessin Outer Harbor at High Tide
ArtistGeorges Seurat
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions26 3/8 x 32 1/4 in.
Current LocationMusee d'Orsay, Paris
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About Port-en-Bessin Outer Harbor at High Tide

Georges Seurat’s “Port-En-Bessin: Outer Harbor At High Tide” is an example of pointillism and neo-impressionism, portraying the docks of Port-en-Bessin-Huppain in Lower Normandy. This oil painting reproduction on canvas depicts a sailboat’s mast in the foreground and exposed rocks with a boat leaning on its side in the background. It was produced during the summer of 1888 while Seurat was staying at Port-en-Bessin.

Pointillism is a technique where small dots are used to create an entire image instead of broad brushstrokes. Instead, it relies on optical blending, creating depth and luminosity through color contrasts. In “Port-En-Bessin,” Seurat expertly employs pointillism to create a vivid portrayal of the harbor at high tide.

The piece uses bright colors to convey the light reflecting off the water, with muted blues and purples for elements further away from the viewer’s eye. The painting has clear lines and shapes that capture every detail, be it rigging or waves breaking against rocks.

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