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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Signac, Paul


Barfleur, Normandy
1931
oil on canvas
73 x 91 cm (28 3/4 x 35 3/4 in.)
location unknown

Paul Signac (1863 - 1935) was a French neo-impressionist painter.He is one of the principal neoimpressionist painters worked with Georges Seurat in creating pointillism (or divisionism). He 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.

Unlike Seurat, he had virtually no formal training; he taught himself to paint by studying the works of Claude Monet and others. After he and Seurat met in 1884, they developed their technique of painting with dots (points) of color, which led to the name pointillism. As Signac explained, they used the pure impressionist palette but applied it in dots that were to be blended by the viewer's eye. What Signac called "muddy mixtures" were to be banished from painting and replaced by luminous, intense colors. Many of Signac's paintings are of the French coast. He loved to paint the water. He left the capital each summer, to stay in the south of France in the village of Collioure or at St. Tropez.

"This work depicts the port of Barfleur in Normandy, which Signac first visited during the autumn of 1930. In a letter to his friend and art collector Gaston Lévy dating from October of that year, Signac wrote: 'The port has enough hustle and bustle about it, and is lined with houses of a handsome and pure architecture. The countryside around is magnificent and very wooded, and the terrain is rolling. It's one of the high spots of France: the sea is beautiful and the gardens are full of flowers'.
Delighted by this region, Signac returned to Barfleur in the summer of 1931, and bought a little fisherman's house next to the church, with a view of the harbour.

As president of the annual Salon des Independants (1908-34), Signac encouraged younger artists by exhibiting the controversial works of the Fauves and the Cubists. At the age of seventy-two, he died on 15 August 1935 in Paris from septicemia. His body was cremated and buried three days later, on August 18, at the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard