Paul Signac – French neo-impressionist painter, pointillism, one of the most interesting people of the late XIX – early XX century. Having studied the structure of the eye and the laws of color transfer, Paul Signac became convinced that the perception of shades is enhanced when paint is applied in separate small dots. The artist, who proposed the revolutionary idea of not mixing paints, became a propagandist of a completely new style in painting – pointillism.
Biography of Paul Signac
Paul Signac was born in the autumn of 1863 in the French capital. After the death of his father in 1880, he did not want to take the bachelor’s degree examinations, as he decided to devote himself to art. The fortune received as an inheritance allowed the novice artist not to worry about making money.
Paul Signac was not officially trained, his style of drawing was influenced by the works of the Impressionists. Claude Monet, whom the young painter loved, he sent a request for a personal consultation. But Claude was not interested in the role of a teacher, so Paul Signac had to acquire his knowledge and skills on his own.
The meeting and acquaintance with Georges Seurat, who was a member of the Society of Independent Artists, turned out to be important for the young painter. Influenced by the Neo-Impressionist, he studied the work of the French chemist Eugène Chevreul and the German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz on the secrets of color rendering.
The emergence of a new painting technique
Having studied the structure and physiology of the human eye, Paul Signac came to the conclusion that pictures should be painted in small separate strokes, without mixing shades. Pure colors should optically merge in the eyes of the viewers. This style of painting was called pointillism. The artist, who actively promoted this method of drawing, had a large number of admirers and imitators.
In 1892 he married Berthe Fable, who was his secretary and loyal friend. Even after many years, when the master became interested in another woman, they maintained a warm relationship. In marriage, the artist began to engage in sailing. It was a popular hobby in those years, but for the painter it became a real passion.
Paul Signac traveled a lot on his ships along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of France, getting vivid impressions. It is not for nothing that seascapes are recognized as his best works. They captivate the viewer with the richness of colors and the accuracy of the transfer of the charm of the water surface. In a number of paintings, the painter used “a look from a boat standing on the water.”
Being already famous, the landscape painter published a set of rules for pointillism. At 48, he was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor. Passed away at the age of 71.
At the French Impressionist exhibition, Paul Signac made sketches from paintings by Edgar Degas. This was seen by Paul Gauguin, who indignantly kicked him out of the event. But the unpleasant incident did not at all cool Paul Signac’s ardent love for art. Even his mother, who did not support her son’s passion, was forced to come to terms with his passion.