Paul Signac

Paul Signac's The Port Of St. Tropez

Paul Signac is a French Neo-Impressionist painter who helped develop the pointillist style of painting along with Georges Seurat. He was also a writer, having published several books concerning the theory of art. He was considered largely as a self-taught artist, having no formal art training aside from studying the works of other masters such as Claude Monet.

Early Life

Paul Signac was born on November 11, 1863 in Paris, France. His father was Jules Signac, a prosperous businessman engaged in the luxury saddlery business. Along with Paul’s mother, Heloise Signac, the family moved from the Bourse district in the city to the Rue Frochot in Montmartre. This new location was known for the famous stage celebrities and artists who lived and worked there. This artsy neighborhood gave Paul the early influences that helped him nurture the love for the arts.

Along with supportive liberal parents, Paul was able to pursue his love for the arts further  after seeing many of the Impressionist paintings exhibited in gallery windows. He initially decided to follow course training in architecture but decided at the age of 18 to pursue a career as a painter after seeing the paintings of Claude Monet in 1880. Having a well to do family helped Paul gain a financial advantage over his contemporaries and was able to study art and paint at his leisure.

Early Career

Paul Signac started his career as an artist by painting the landscapes he has encountered during his many traveling experiences sailing through the coasts of Europe. In 1884, Paul Signac was able to meet Claude Monet and made friends with Georges Seurat. He was impressed by the systematic work methods of Seurat as well as his use of color theory that he eventually became a supporter. Together, Signac and Seurat eventually developed the pointillism style of painting by experimenting with using dots of pure color placed on the canvas instead of brush strokes to create images.

Most of Signac’s work dealt with capturing the beauty of the French coast. He loved to paint the water, the reason why majority of his works were made as such. Among his more notable works was "The Port of St. Tropez", a take of the lovely French port in the pointillist style that he became famous with. Paul Signac died at the age of seventh two on August15, 1935 in Paris.

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