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  • Paul Signac
    Nov 11, 1863 – Aug 15, 1935
  • Harbour at Marseilles - Paul Signac was One of the principal neoimpressionist French painters who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the pointillist style. Under his influence he abandoned the short brushstrokes of impressionism to experiment with scientifically juxtaposed small dots of pure color, intended to combine and blend not on the canvas but in the viewer's eye, the defining feature of pointillism.
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Harbour at Marseilles
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  • Harbour at Marseilles

  • Paul Signac
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  • 1906
    Oil on canvas
    The State Hermitage Museum, Russia.

    Information about original painting:

    The pointillist technique used in this painting consists of small dotted applications of paint, and is sometimes also described as divisionism. Signac was one of a number of artists and theorists who created a scientific method of separating complex tones into pure colours, applied using identical brushstrokes arranged in a decorative mosaic, which are then combined by the eye when seen from the necessary distance.
    The spontaneity and empiricism of Impression were here combined with the deliberation and precision of a carefully defined system, which also influenced the construction of such paintings, in which the "chance" Impressionist composition was replaced by the traditional centralised composition framed by "wings".

    This landscape was probably composed from drawings and watercolours taken from nature, which was the artist's usual method of work.

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  • I was super impressed with the painting I ordered, Harbour at Marseilles.

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Other paintings by Paul Signac:

Capo di Noli
Capo di Noli
Entrance to the Port of Marseilles
Entrance to the Port of Marseilles
La calanque (The bay)
La calanque (The bay)
Les Andelys, La Berge
Les Andelys, La Berge
Paul SignacWhen he was 18, Signac gave up architecture for painting and, through Armand Guillaumin, became a convert to the colouristic principles of Impressionism. In 1884 Signac helped found the Salon des Indépendants. There he met Seurat, whom he initiated into the broken-colour technique of Impressionism. The two went on to the method they called pointillism, in a fashion that came to be called Neo-Impressionism. They continued to apply pigment in minute dabs of pure colour, as had the Impressionists, but they adopted an exact, almost mathematical system of applying the dots instead of the somewhat intuitive application of the earlier masters. In watercolours Signac used the principle in a much freer manner. After 1886 he took part regularly in the annual Salon des Indépendants, to which he sent landscapes, seascapes, and decorative panels. Being a sailor, Signac traveled widely along the European coast, painting the landscapes he encountered. In his later years he painted scenes of Paris, Viviers, and other French cities.