Paul Signac


Artist Biography:

Paul Victor Jules Signac, born in Paris in 1863 was a French Neo-Impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the Pointillist style. His encounter with Impressionism, especially Monet's work, induced him to abandon his architecture studies at the age of eighteen and become a painter. In 1884 Signac helped found the Salon des Indépendants. There he met Seurat, they continued to apply pigment in minute dabs of pure colour, as had the Impressionists, but they adopted an exact, almost scientific system of applying the dots, instead of the somewhat intuitive application of the earlier masters. In watercolours Signac used the principle in a much freer manner, also experimenting with sketching, etching and various mediums. Many of Signac's paintings are of the French coast as he loved to paint the water, he sailed around the coasts of Europe, painting the landscapes he encountered. He also painted a series of watercolours of French harbour cities in later years. He left the capital each summer, to stay in the south of France in the village of Collioure or at St. Tropez, where he bought a house. In his later years he began writing, Signac produced much critical writing and was the author of From Eugène Delacroix to Neo-Impressionism (1899) and Jongkind (1927). The former book is an exposition of pointillism, while the latter is an insightful treatise on watercolour painting.

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