The Jetty at Cassis, Opus 198

Paul Signac (French, Paris 1863–1935 Paris)
Oil on canvas
18 1/4 x 25 5/8 in. (46.4 x 65.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Joan Whitney Payson, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 825
Between 1887 and 1891, Signac spent the warmer months pursuing his two passions, marine painting and boating, on excursions to seaside resorts. One of five views made during a trip to the Mediterranean port of Cassis in April–June 1889, this work was singled out for praise when the series debuted at the Salon des Indépendants later that year. At Cassis, Signac found "White, blue and orange, harmoniously spread over the beautiful rise and fall of the land. All around the mountains with rhythmic curves." Until 1894, he evoked analogies with musical compositions by inscribing each of his pictures with an opus number.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed: (lower left) P.Signac 89; (lower right) Op.198; (on stretcher) La Jetée de Cassis – PS [monogram]
Comte Antoine de La Rochefoucauld (from 1890; bought from the artist through an intermediary, Vincent d'Indy); [Galerie de l'Élysée, Paris, until 1950; sold on November 13 for $4,000 to Lehman]; Robert Lehman, New York (1950–59); [Lock Galleries, New York, from 1959]; [Knoedler, New York, until 1960; sold on April 13 for $42,000 to Payson]; Joan Whitney Payson, New York and Manhasset (1960–d. 1975)
Paris. Salle de la société d'horticulture. "Salon des indépendants (5e exposition)," September 3–October 4, 1889, no. 246 (as "Op. 198. Cassis [Bouches-du-Rhône]").

Brussels. Ancien musée de peinture. "Les XX (7me exposition)," January 18–February 23, 1890, no. 11 (as "Op. 198, la mer. Cassis [Bouches-du-Rhône]") [see Cachin 2000].

New York. Fine Arts Associates. "Paul Signac," November 5–December 1, 1951, no. 3 (as "Quai at Cassis," lent by Robert Lehman collection).

New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Seurat and his Friends," November 18–December 26, 1953, no. 40 (as "Jetty at Cassis," lent by Robert Lehman).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Neo-Impressionism: The Friends and Followers of Georges Seurat," September 14, 1991–January 12, 1992, no catalogue.

Cologne. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. "Pointillismus: Auf den Spuren von George Seurat," September 6–November 30, 1997, no. 144 (as "La jetée de Cassis [Opus 198]").

Lausanne. Fondation de l'Hermitage. "Pointillisme: Sur les traces de Seurat," January 23–June 1, 1998, no. 144.

Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Signac, 1863–1935," February 27–May 28, 2001, no. 35 (as "Cassis. La jetée. Opus 198").

Amsterdam. Van Gogh Museum. "Signac, 1863–1935," June 15–September 9, 2001, no. 35.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Signac, 1863–1935," October 9–December 30, 2001, no. 35 (as "The Jetty, Cassis, Opus 198").

Portland, Maine. Portland Museum of Art. "Neo-Impressionism: Artists on the Edge," June 27–October 20, 2002, unnumbered cat. (fig. 6, as "The Jetty at Cassis").

Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "P. Signac," June 18–November 23, 2003, no. 15 (as "Cassis. La Jetée (Opus 198)").

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 113.

Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny. "Signac, les couleurs de l'eau," March 29–July 2, 2013, no. 10.

Montpellier. Musée Fabre. "Signac, les couleurs de l'eau," July 13–October 27, 2013, no. 10.

Société des artistes indépendants. Salon des indépendants (5e exposition). Exh. cat.Paris, 1889, p. 18, no. 246, dates it May 1889.

Félix Fénéon. "Tableaux." La vogue (September 1889) [reprinted in Joan U. Halperin, "Félix Fénéon: Oeuvres plus que complètes", Geneva, 1970, p. 165].

Paul Signac. Journal entry. September 29, 1894 [published in John Rewald, "Extraits du journal inédit de Paul Signac, I, 1894–1895," in Gazette des beaux-arts 36 (July–September 1949), pp. 106, 168], responds to a negative article written in "La plume" by Rette [see Ref. 1889] about the paintings of Cassis.

Paul Signac. Exh. cat., Fine Arts Associates. New York, 1951, unpaginated, no. 3, ill.

Henri Dorra and Sheila C. Askin. "Seurat's Japonisme." Gazette des beaux-arts 73 (February 1969), pp. 89, 94.

Charles S. Moffett in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1975–1979. New York, 1979, p. 55, ill., notes that it was painted between April and June 1889, during Signac's visit to Cassis, and that it was third in group of five paintings and one sketch that he made at that time; comments that the brushstrokes are typically Divisionist or Pointillist; mentions that until 1894 Signac gave each of his paintings an opus number (this is 198), a practice usually associated with music.

Françoise Cachin. Signac, catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Paris, 2000, pp. 35, 192, no. 184, ill. (color and black and white).

Marina Ferretti-Bocquillon. Signac, 1863–1935. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, pp. 14, 27, 140, 142–43, 145, 302–3, no. 35, ill. (color).

Carrie Haslett in Neo-Impressionism: Artists on the Edge. Exh. cat., Portland Museum of Art. Portland, Maine, 2002, pp. 15, 17, 85, fig. 6 (color).

Marina Ferretti-Bocquillon in P. Signac. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2003, pp. 50–51, no. 15, ill. (color).

Susan Alyson Stein in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 153, 257, no. 113, ill. (color and black and white).

Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 181, 305, no. 168, ill. (color and black and white).

Signac painted this during his trip to Cassis, a fishing village near Marseilles. This picture is the third in a group of five paintings (Cachin 2000, nos. 181–86) and one sketch in a private collection, Paris (Cachin 2000, no. 187), that he painted between April and June 1889.