Paul Signac

Paul Signac

Style: Post-Impressionism

Lived: November 11, 1863 - August 15, 1935 (19th - 20th century)

Nationality: France


Paul Signac was born in Paris on November 11, 1863 into a rather wealthy family. He originally wanted to become an architect, but eventually fell in love with the Impressionist school. Signac received the support of his parents so in 1880 he started painting. His initial influences includes Claude Monet and Armand Guillaumin.


In 1884 Paul Signac met a group of artists including Georges Seurat and Theo van Rysselberghe who were developing a new artistic style called Pointillism / Divisionism. Under their influence Paul Signac adopted the style of painting in which small dots were placed next to eachother intended to combine and blend not on the canvas but in the viewer's eye. Paul Signac was so utterly passionate about pointillism that he started to recruit other artists, such as Camille Pissarro to join them.

Signac’s artistic output consists mainly of seascapes, because he remained an enthusiastic sailor all his life, and town views. He traveled widely across the country, from Le Havre to Marseilles, painting views of Paris, La Rochelle, Avignon, Colliore, Saint-Tropez and Antibes. He painted harbor scenes in Venice and Constantinople. Beside paintings, travel sketches and drawings, Signac produced a large decorative canvas Au temps d’Harmonicie for the Maison du Peuple in Brussels. However Signac never limited himself to paintings: As well as oil paintings and watercolors he made etchings, lithographs, and many pen-and-ink sketches composed of small, laborious dots. After 1900 Paul Signac abandoned pointillism, opting for a painting style with small squares to create a mosaic-like effect


Paul Signac died on August 15, 1935 in Paris.

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