Paul Signac autograph manuscript and sketches
- A fascinating document by of one of the most significant French artists of the 20th century.
Paul Signac (1863-1935) was a French Neo-Impressionist painter who developed the style of Pointilism along with George Seurat.
Signac worked alongside many of the greatest artists of the era, including Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Camille Pissarro and Odilon Redon, and shared a close friendship with Vincent van Gough.
In 1884 Signac was one of the four founding members of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, an association which hosted major exhibitions and set important artistic trends for more than three decades.
He also wrote several important works on the theory of art, and throughout his life served as both an inspiration and a patron to younger artists.
This four page manuscript features a series of pencil drawings and sketches, along with lengthy annotations in French which offer an insight into Paul Signac's artistic process.
The rough illustrations on page one of the manuscript include notes referring to colours and background scenery of a possible future work:
"Opposite a white palace, with pink line, harmony in pink, with green blinds… Communal Palace.. retouching Gozzoli virgin fresco…blue background…"
The second page features four individual sketches, with figures and religious imagery such as a virgin and an angel. These scenes are accompanied by notes, which read in part:
"The small virgin in white,…right wall with chorus, landscape with sun, white, pink…a clown scene with the dog and cat under the bed...the chapel of St. Martin…"
The third page include a lengthy annotation which reads in part "...the dry aspect that the murals research and the shapes can achieve…", along with a quick line sketch which is developed more fully on the fourth page.
This second version of the sketch depicts a small cottage on a shoreline, with a large cliff face rising up behind it.
Signac had a love of sailing, spending many summers throughout his life exploring the French coast, and the shorelines in the South of France – perhaps including this very scene - were amongst his most popular subjects.
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