Biography

Paul Signac was a French neo-Impressionist painter, one of the originators of the technique known as Pointillism or Divisionism.  He came from an affluent family of shopkeepers and had intended to study architecture until a visit to a Claude Monet exhibition inspired him to pursue an artistic career.  His early works reflect the influence of Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Armand Guillaumin, a close friend who also provided important encouragement to the artist.  In 1884, Signac was a founder-member of the Salon des Independants, where he met Georges Seurat, who exhibited Bathers at Asnieres.  Seurat’s color theory seduced Signac by its rigour, which was in direct opposition to the instinctive approach of the Impressionists.  The two men pooled their research and greatly influenced each other’s oeuvres and the evolution of pointillism.  Signac was also a very important art critic and historian.  His essays, books, and articles in addition to his revolutionary art inspired contemporaries such as Camille Pissarro and Vincent Van Gogh.  Signac also strongly influenced later artists Henri Matisse and André Derian, thus playing a decisive role in the evolution of Fauvism. 

 

Museum Collections Include:

Musee d’Orsay, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Smithsonian Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.; Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Chicago Art Institute, IL; Musee du Louvre, Paris