Zinnias And Marigolds

Paul Signac

French, 1863 - 1935

Zinnias and Marigolds, ca. 1911 - 1915

  • Not On View

Watercolor on paper

Dimensions: 13 × 15 1/4 in. (33 × 38.7 cm)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Ryerson, 1939.2

As an adolescent living in Paris, Paul Signac was extremely attracted to the art of the Impressionists. In particular, the paintings of Claude Monet inspired him to become a painter. Lacking any formal art instruction, Signac devoted himself to the study of Monet’s and his contemporaries, including Manet, Degas and Caillebotte. His earliest work displays a pronounced taste for geometric compositions with little perspectival depth and an unmistakable fondness for color - two characteristics that were to mark his work as a whole.Signac participated in the first Salon des Indépendants in 1884, where he met his future Neo-Impressionist comrades George Seurat and Henri Edmond Cross. The following year he met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro, whom he admired greatly. Finally, in 1886, he exhibited with the Impressionists.Eventually, Signac sought a more scientific process of painting based on color theory and optics. He abandoned the short brushstrokes of Impressionism to experiment with scientifically juxtaposed small dots of pure color, intended to combine in the spectator’s eye when the canvas was viewed from a distance. This shift in technique may be attributed to Signac’s deep interest in color throughout his career.

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