I love my Page a-day Gallery Calendar; it brightens each day with beautiful images. Through it, I learn about new works from favorite artists and discover some new artists with talent that I admire. Paul Signac is one of those new-to-me artists; I love the happy colors in his paintings.
The pointillist Paul Signac was born in Paris on 11 November 1863. He was so inspired by an exhibit of Monet’s work that he left his architecture studies to become a painter. He abandoned Impressionism when he met Georges Seurat and adopted the technique of juxtaposing pure dots of color so that they would blend in the viewer’s eye, rather than being mixed on the palette. Over time, his style evolved to be similar to mosaic-like squares, rather than dots of color. He spent every summer painting in the sun-soaked south of France, which is often reflected in his colorful paintings.
Signac, Seurat and others founded the Société des Artistes Indépendants whose motto was Sans jury ni récompense (sahn zjoor-ee knee ray-kom-pahns), which means “No jury nor awards.” This refers to the established art experts who controlled admission to exhibit at the annual Salons, thus effectively limiting who got seen by the buying public and who got to be a successful artist. Signac was also instrumental in encouraging other artists, including visiting Van Gogh in Arles and being Matisse’s first client.m
A few years ago, a previously unknown work by Signac was found at a hotel in Holland. Apparently, Signac paid his bill with the painting in 1894. At the time of discovery, it was valued at €100,000. Now that’s quite a mini-bar bill!