Paul Signac Biography | Oil Paintings

11-11-1863 Paris, FRA - 8-15-1935 Paris, FRA

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Signac, Paul

Paul Signac was studying architecture but after going to a show of Monet's work, he decided at the age of eighteen to pursue a career as a painter, and three years later, in 1884, Paul Signac met Claude Monet and Georges Seurat.

Signac was so impressed by the systematic working methods of Seurat and by his theory of colors that he became Seurat's faithful supporter, friend, and heir with his description of Post-Impressionism and Divisionism method. Under his influence, he abandoned the short brushstrokes of Impressionism to experiment with scientifically juxtaposed small dots of pure color blended 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, begun in Paris in 1884 with the organization of massive exhibitions, without a jury, nor awards, their annual exhibitions set the trends in art of the early twentieth century, until the onset of World War I.

In 1888, Signac discovered anarchist ideas by reading Reclus, Kropotkin and Jean Grave. With his friends Maximilien Luce and Camille Pissarro, he contributed to Jean Grave’s paper Les Temps Nouveaux (New Times).

In 1886 Paul Signac met Vincent van Gogh in Paris and the following year the two artists regularly went to Asnières-Sur-Seine to painted such river landscapes and cafés together. Van Gogh admired Signac’s loose painting technique, before Signac became more of a Pointillist, in 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, and around the Mediterranean coast as far as Turkey, many sketches for paintings were done along the way.

At the 1905 Salon des Indépendants, Henri Matisse exhibited the proto-Fauve painting Luxe, Calme et Volupté, painted in the Divisionist technique after a summer spent working on the French Riviera alongside Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. Signac purchased the painting after the close of the exhibit.

As president of the Société des Artistes Indépendants from 1908 until his death, Paul Signac encouraged younger artists. Signac inspired Henri Matisse and André Derain, playing a decisive role in the evolution of Fauvism by exhibiting the controversial works of the Fauves and the Cubists.

In 2010, an unknown Signac was discovered at the Hotel Spaander in Volendam Netherlands, apparently, he gave this one to pay for his stay there in 1894. Valued at US$120,000 today, the untitled oil painting was hanging in the lobby.

Art Movement: Post-Impressionism, Pointillism.
Artists Influencing Paul Signac: Claude Monet, Georges Seurat.
He Traveled To Italy, Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Malta.
Painters Paul Signac Influenced: Henri Matisse, André Derain.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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