Paintings by Paul Signac


Paul Signac is not the most famous of the Impressionists, but he was an important figure in the history of the movement. Signac's contributions came after he met Georges Seurat in 1884, and became interested in Seurat's more formal approach to painting. Along with Seurat and fellow Impressionist Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac developed a style which would be termed by contemporary critics "Neo-Impressionism."

In paintings such as The Gas Tanks at Clichy and Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris, Paul Signac employs Seurat's optical theories while maintaining a sense of the traditional Impressionist strategies favored by artists such as Claude Monet. At the Impressionists' eighth and final exhibition, Paul Signac's work hung beside Seurat's as a signal that traditional Impressionism was finished and a new wave of painting was on the horizon.

  • The Gas Tanks at Clichy: The Gas Tanks at Clichy by Paul Signac shows the influence of his fellow Impressionist, Georges Seurat. Read about Signac's The Gas Tanks at Clichy, from 1886.
  • Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris: Signac's blend of Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism is apparent in his 1886 work Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris. Learn about this Impressionist work.

Paul Signac met Georges Seurat in 1884 and became interested in Seurat's optical theories. On the next page we'll look closely at one of the paintings that came out of this meeting.

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

The Gas Tanks at Clichy by Paul Signac

The Gas Tanks at Clichy by Paul Signac (oil on canvas, 25-5/8x National Gallery of Victoria
The Gas Tanks at Clichy by Paul Signac (oil on canvas, 25-5/8x National Gallery of Victoria

The 1886 painting The Gas Tanks at Clichy by Paul Signac was a direct result of Signac meeting Georges Seurat in 1884. After meeting Seurat, Signac began his own experiments in Neo-Impressionism. He chose an industrial site, a group of gas tanks, as his subject but used luminous color to transform them with a scintillating interplay of vibrant tones. Paul Signac used the method to his own ends in The Gas Tanks at Clichy by employing a subtle gradation of hue and strongly anchored forms.

On the next page, see the beautiful Impressionist painting Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris by Paul Signac.

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris by Paul Signac

Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris by Paul Signac (oil on canvas, 18-1/4x25-7/8 inches) hangs in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris by Paul Signac (oil on canvas, 18-1/4x25-7/8 inches) hangs in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

In the 1886 painting Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris, Paul Signac drew from both classic Impressionism and the scientific formulation of Neo-Impressionism.

Signac's pale, shimmering palette, with delicate tones of pink and violet, reveals his early admiration for the work of Claude Monet, but in Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris, Paul Signac applied his pigment in the characteristic dots meant to excite the viewer's optical perceptions.

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American paintings. She is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.