Paul Signac France
11-11-1863 Paris, FRA - 8-15-1935 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Paul Signac followed a course of training in architecture before deciding at the age of 18 to pursue a career as a painter after attending an exhibit of Monet's work.
In 1884 Paul Signac met Claude Monet and Georges Seurat. He was struck by the systematic working methods of Seurat and by his theory of colors and became Seurat's faithful supporter, friend and heir with his description of Neo-Impressionism and Divisionism method. Under his influence he abandoned the short brushstrokes of Impressionism to experiment with scientifically juxtaposed small dots of pure color, intended to combine and blend not on the canvas but in the viewer's eye, the defining feature of Pointillism.
Paul Signac, Albert Dubois-Pillet, Odilon Redon and Georges Seurat were among the founders of the Société des Artistes Indépendants. The association began in Paris in 1884 with the organization of massive exhibitions, with the device "No jury nor awards". For the following three decades their annual exhibitions set the trends in art of the early 20th century.
At the 1905 Salon des Indépendants, Henri Matisse exhibited the proto-Fauve painting Luxe, Calme et Volupté. In the Divisionist technique and brightly colored, it was painted in 1904, after a summer spent working in St. Tropez on the French Riviera alongside the neo-Impressionist painters Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. Signac purchased the work after the 1905 Salon des Indépendants.
In 1886 Paul Signac met Vincent van Gogh in Paris. In 1887 the two artists regularly went to Asnières-sur-Seine together, where they painted such subjects as river landscapes and cafés. Initially, Van Gogh chiefly admired Signac’s loose painting technique. In March 1889, Signac visited Vincent van Gogh at Arles.
Paul Signac loved sailing and began to travel in 1892, sailing a small boat to almost all the ports of France, to the Netherlands, and around the Mediterranean as far as Constantinople, basing his boat at St. Tropez.
Signac inspired Henri Matisse and André Derain in particular, thus playing a decisive role in the evolution of Fauvism.
As president of the Société des Artistes Indépendants from 1908 until his death, Paul Signac encouraged younger artists, he was the first to buy a painting by Matisse by exhibiting the controversial works of the Fauves and the Cubists.
In 2010, a previously unknown work was discovered at a hotel which was preparing an exhibition of its many paintings. The Hotel Spaander in Volendam has about 1,400 works of art and Signac apparently gave this one to pay for his stay there in 1894. Valued at $120,000, the untitled oil representing a view of the harbor used to hang off a rusty nail in the lobby.
Art Movement: Post-Impressionism, Pointillism
Influences: Claude Monet, Georges Seurat
Traveled: Italy, Netherlands, Turkey
Influenced: Henri Matisse, André Derain