The National Museum of Western Art

update 14 September 2021

Currently not on display

Paul Signac [Paris, 1863 - Paris, 1935]

The Port of Saint-Tropez

Date1901-02
Materials/Techniquesoil on canvas
Size (cm)131 x 161.5
InscriptionsSigned lower right: P. Signac
Credit LinePurchased
Standard ref.Cachin 359
CategoryPaintings
Collection NumberP.1987-0003
The Port of Saint-Tropez

Signac was greatly shocked by the death of Seurat who had joined him in defending and extolling the spread of Neo-impressionism. Thanks to the efforts of his friend the painter H. E. Cross, Signac left the year after the death of Seurat (1892) on a yacht voyage around the Mediterranean. He discovered the still as yet small fishing harbor of Saint-Tropez during this trip and for the next ten years he traveled between Saint-Tropez and Paris in the creation of his paintings. A series of developments in the artistic directions of Signac's work can be seen over this period. First we see the softening of the linear rigor of his compositions, followed by an increase in size of the distinctive dots of pigment that characterize the Neo-impressionist style. In this later change, he strengthened the characteristics of the individual touches and the contrast between them, surpassing the optical mixture that had been the Pointillists' first objective. This work depicting the port of Saint-Tropez in its entirety is one of his most monumental works of this period, providing an extreme expression of these formal changes. Signaling Signac's emergence from the Neo-impressionists and revealing intimations of the birth of Fauvism, this work represents Signac's achievements at the turn of the century. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 90)

Provenance

Karl-Ernst Osthaus, Hagen; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Marlborough Fine Art, London; Purchased by the NMWA, 1988.

Exhibition History

1902
Exposition de la Société des Artistes Indépendants, Cours-la-Reine, Paris, 29 March 1902 - 5 May 1902, cat. no. 1633 (titled Saint Tropez)
1904
Exposition des peintres impressionnistes, La Libre Esthétique, Bruxelles, 25 February 1904 - 29 March 1904, cat. no. 153
1907
Paul Signac, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 21 January 1907 - 2 February 1907, cat. no. 17 (titled Saint-Tropez, Le Port)
1912
Museum Folkwang, Hagen, 1912 - 1912, cat. no. 188
1929
Museum Folkwang, Essen, 1929 - 1929, cat. no. 300
1952
, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 19 October 1952 - 30 November 1952, cat. no. 13
1969
Museum Folkwang, Essen, 1969 - 1969, cat. no. 105, repr.
1973
Selected European Master of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1973 - 1973, cat. no. 144, repr.
1983
Master of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Marlborough Gallery Inc., New York, 1983 - 1983, cat. no. 45, repr.
1983
Master of the 19th and 20th Centuries: Inaugural Exhibition, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., Tokyo, 1983 - 1983, cat. no. 19, repr.
1995
[Exhibition for Children] Exploring Mysterious Painted World, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 July 1995 - 10 September 1995
1997
Expressiveness of Materials, National Museum of Art, Osaka, 17 April 1997 - 22 June 1997, cat. no. 38
2000
Tanka at the National Museum of Western Art: An Encounter between Poet and Art, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 25 July 2000 - 29 October 2000, cat. no. 60
2001
Signac, 1863-1935, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 27 February 2001 - 28 May 2001, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 15 June-9 September 2001; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 9 October- 30 December, cat. no. 105, col. repr.
2013
Monet, An Eye for Landscapes: Innovation in 19th Century French Landscape Paintings, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 7 December 2013 - 9 March 2014, cat. no. 95, col. repr.

Bibliography

1902
Anonymous. Le Cri de Paris. 9 April 1902, p. 4
1902
Bidou, Henri. Le Salon des Indépendants. L'Occident. June 1902, p. 253
1902
Anonymous. Les Indépendants. Le Petit Bleu de Paris. 5 May 1902, p. 2
1902
Klingsor, Tristan. Les Salons de 1902. Le Salon des Indépendants. La Plume. 1 May 1902, p. 567
1902
Laertes. Les Salons. Exposition des Indépendants. La Dépêche de Toulouse. 1 April 1902, p. 5
1902
Fleury, Arbert. Les Indépendants. L'Effort. 15 June 1902, p. 58
1904
Fénéon, Félix. L’Art à Paris. Exposition Paul Signac. L’Art Moderne. 18 December 1904, pp. 409-410
1907
Jamot, Paul. Exposition Paul Signac. La Chronique des arts et de la curiosité. no. 4, 26 January 1907, p. 28
1912
Museum Folkwang. Freyer, Kurt, ed, vol. 1 Moderne Kunst: Plastik, Malerei, Graphik, Hagen, 1912, cat. no. 189
1929
Museum Folkwang. Waldstein, Agnes, ed, vol. 1 Moderne Kunst: Plastik, Malerei, Graphik, Essen, 1929, cat. no. 298
1967
Lindemann, G. Kunst, Künstler, Kunstwerke. Essen, 1967, pp. 266-267, repr.
1969
Museum Folkwang Essen, Gemälde 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Rickman, Herbert, ed, Essen, Museum Folkwang, 1969, cat. no. 206, repr.
1986
Paul Signac 1863-1935: Watercolours and Drawings (exh. cat.). Bosman, Suan. Marlborough Gallery, London, November 1986. London, 1986, p. 11, fig. 15, repr.
1989
Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1989 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 82, repr.
1990
Annual bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. Nos. 21-22 (1986-87), 1990, Yaegashi, Haruki. New Acquisitions 1986-87. pp. 15-16, Catalogue of the New Acquisitions 1986-87. pp. 34-35, repr.
1990
Catalogue of painting acquisitions: 1979-1989. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1990, pp. 65-66, repr.
1992
Ferretti-Bocquillon, Maria. Peintures. Dessins et aquarelles. Signac & Saint-Tropez: 1892-1913 (exh. cat.). Musée de l'Annonciade, Saint-Tropez, 20 June - 6 October 1992; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims, 6 November - 13 December 1992. [Saint-Tropez], [Musée de l'Annonciade], 1992, pp. 76-77, repr.
1997
Ferretti-Bocquillon, Maria. Paul Signac au temps d’Harmonie 1895-1913. Signac et la libération de la couleur: de Matisse à Mondrian (exh. cat.). Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, 1 December 1996 – 16 February 1997; Musée de Grenoble, 9 March – 25 May 1997; Kunstsammulungen zu Weimer, 15 June – 31 August 1997. Paris, Réunion des musées nationaux, 1997, p. 66
2000
Cachin, Françoise. Signac: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint. Paris, Gallimard, 2000, cat. no. 359, repr.
2009
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2009, no. 90, col. repr.
2013
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 112, col. repr.

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