As Constable, Seurat built his composition in successive stages, with many preparatory drawings and paintings. He was the most innovative draughtsman of his time, mixing the subject and the background by blurring the edges. Like the Impressionists, he removes the line while strictly maintaining shapes, proportions and perspectives.
On February 3 in London, Sotheby's sells a drawing for the nude of a young boy which is one of the earliest studies for La Baignade. This drawing in conté pencil on paper, 32 x 24 cm, may have been executed as early as 1883. It is estimated £ 5M, lot 13.
The boy is viewed in profile with a detailed anatomy. His attitude of cry for echo was kept unchanged in the full size version where he is the bather in the foreground with shorts. The drawing offered a chiaroscuro effect that has not been used in the painting.