|Courtesy of www.VincentVanGogh.org|
As industry in Paris increased, factories were built in the surrounding areas, and Asnieres situated to the west of Paris on the River Seine gradually evolved into an industrial suburb of the city. Though it was home to the factories painted by Van Gogh, the area was also a fashionable place for the inhabitants of Paris to go to on day trips. Situated along the Seine it was a popular place for promenading and bathing, and had been famously documented by Seurat in 1883-84 with his Bothers at Asnieres. This painting was (inevitably) refused by the Salon in 1884, but was shown at the first exhibition of the Independents the same year and came to the attention of the young Signoc, with whom Van Gogh had become friendly. The two artists made trips to Asnieres together, painting side-by-side, and Signac's influence can be clearly felt in Van Gogh's canvases painted at this time. Van Gogh also mode painting excursions to Asnieres with his friend Bernard, who had taken a violent dislike to Signac and opposed his scientific approach to colour theories.