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Evening Calm, Concarneau, Opus 220 (Allegro Maestoso)

Paul Signac (French, Paris 1863–1935 Paris)

Date:
1891
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
25 1/2 x 32in. (64.8 x 81.3cm); Framed: 40 1/4 x 34 in. (102.2 x 86.4cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.209
  • Description

    As Georges Seurat's most ardent follower, Paul Signac steadfastly promoted the principles of Neo-Impressionism all his life. Adopting Seurat's system of color harmony, Signac argued for the meticulous application of precise hues in separate strokes of paint, a technique realizing what he called "brilliantly colored lights" across the canvas. "Evening Calm, Concarneau, Opus 220 (Allegro Maestoso)" is one of five related paintings of fishing boats at sea near the French town of Concarneau, in Brittany. Much in the manner of Claude Monet, these marine views sequentially capture the transitory light of day. Signac linked his Concarneau paintings with musical sub-titles, metaphorically suggesting a symphonic arrangement. The Lehman picture, painted in soft, late afternoon light, casts distant sardine boats in a rhythmic pattern; closer at hand, a tuna trawler returns to port. Signac's near complementary colors yellow and blue, applied in divided brushmarks, shimmer and vibrate according to the idiosyncratic technique of Neo-Impressionism.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed and dated (bottom left): P.Signac 91; Inscribed (bottom right): Op. 220

  • Provenance

    Count Antoine de La Rochefoucauld, Paris; Alex Hallot, by 1896; acquired from the Galerie de L'Élysée (Paul Ebstein), Paris, by Robert Lehman, New York, April 1953.

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