Le Pont des Arts, Paul Signac, 1929
When I received this art postcard in the mail recently it reminded me of the style used by another painter, Georges Seurat. The colors and scenery seem modern although this was painted in 1929 by the French artist Paul Signac. Since I was not familiar with Signac I wanted to find out more.
Signac was born in Paris, France in 1863 and died there in 1935. He worked with Seurat and helped develop the pointillist style shown on the card above. This type of painting is composed of small dots of color that when viewed blend together to form the complete picture, adding depth and perspective as well as a distinctive design.
Signac’s paintings are surprisingly modern looking. One he did in 1890 called “Portrait of Félix Fénéon” is reminiscent of a 1960s psychedelic poster. A couple of others completed during the same time period look like contemporary illustrations. In addition to pointillism he was known as a post- and neo-impressionist. He began his training in architecture but changed to painting after he saw an exhibit of Claude Monet’s work. Signac also met Vincent van Gogh and went with him on several painting trips. Besides painting he wrote several important works on the theory of art.
Politically Signac was an anarchist, so it was maybe not an accident that my friend used a very controversial stamp on the card.
This new issue French stamp shows “Marianne” but this version was supposedly modeled after Inna Shevchenko a member of the Ukrainian feminist protest group FEMEN. The stamp has generated a great deal of comment (and outrage) from the public, as Marianne has been a national emblem in France and many are unhappy with the likeness to Shevchenko.
For more information about Paul Signac, please see:
As always thanks to my French friend for the postcard.