Paul Signac

Harbour at Marseilles

Harbour at Marseilles
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Paul Signac
Landscape, Painting, Oil on canvas, 46x55 cm
Origin: France, 1907

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.

Style: Neo-Impressionism
Source of entry: 1930

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