Paul Signac

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Signac, Paul

(pōl sēnyäk`), 1863–1935, French neoimpressionist painter. First influenced by Monet, he was later associated with SeuratSeurat, Georges
, 1859–91, French neoimpressionist painter. He devised the pointillist technique of painting in tiny dots of pure color. His method, called divisionism, was a systematic refinement of the broken color of the impressionists.
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 in developing the divisionist technique. Interested in the science of color, he painted with a greater intensity and with broader strokes than Seurat. In such vigorous, colorful works as Port of St. Tropez (1916; Brooklyn Mus., New York City) Signac broke through the confines of neoimpressionist theory. He wrote a treatise, D'Eugène Delacroix au néo-impressionisme (1889), long considered the foremost work on the school.


See study by his granddaughter, Françoise Cachin (tr. 1973).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Signac, Paul


Born Nov. 11, 1863, in Paris; died there Aug. 15, 1935. French painter and engraver.

Signac studied in Paris at the Académie Privée de Bing. At first he was influenced by impressionism. In 1886, under the influence of Seurat and Pissarro, he turned to neo-impression-ism, consequently becoming the movement’s major theorist and one of its leading painters. In a number of his works, Signac adhered strictly to Seurat’s doctrine of dividing colors into their component parts, yet the flatness and ornamental character of his works anticipated art nouveau (Portrait of Félix Fénéon, 1890, private collection, New York). In his other works, primarily seascapes, Signac used various tonal combinations to capture a particular emotion (View of the Port of Marseilles, 1911, National Museum of Modern Art, Paris).

In 1884, Signac helped organize the Salon des Indépendants. An active public figure, he supported the principles of the French Communist Party. Signac visited the USSR in the 1930’s.


Ot Ezh. Delakrua k neoimpressionizmu. Moscow, 1913. (Translated from French.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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