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Paul Signac

Paul Signac

(1863 - 1935)
Born: Paris, France
Style: Post-Impressionism
Famous Works:
  • Young Women of Provence at the Well (1892)
  • The Red Buoy, Saint Tropez (1895)
  • Port of La Rochelle (1921)
Paul Signac was an adamant follower of Georges Seurat's pointillist paintings, and contributed to the development of the Post-Impressionist period. Together the two artists developed paintings which reflected intense studies of color theory. In particular, they sought to understand the use of dots, not strokes, of unmixed pigments. The colors would then be blended by the eye, and from a distance create an effect of light and depth. A trademark of Signac's paintings was this placement of complimentary colors side by side. The results were overwhelming color schemes, taken from visual cues and the freedom and color selection of impressionistic paintings. While Georges Seurat did not approve of his theories being documented, his early death allowed the young Signac to aggressively present his passionate vision. The artist completed and published a type of manifesto on pointillism in 1899. During the year 1900 Signac discontinued his use of circular dots and began painting with square shapes, showing a departure from the scientific approach of Seurat. Signac had digested his mentor's teachings, and was manifesting a freer sense of expression. Signac often painted harbor scenes from the extensive time he spent on the French Mediterranean coast. Henri Matisse, the father of the Fauvists was highly influenced by Signac's work and use of color, and visited him at St-Tropez in 1904.
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