Earlier this month a famous painting of Saint Tropez by renowned French artist Paul Signac was sold by Sotheby’s for 10,666,000 USD
Saint Tropez has long been a favourite place for artists and creative types to seek peace and inspiration for their art. Since the 19th Century the aspiring and successful artists would leave Paris and head to the South of France for the relaxed pace of life, the light, colours of Provence and beautiful views of the coast and surrounding landscape.
One such acclaimed and highly collectable French artist was Paul Signac (1863–1935). Paul Signac was a neo-impressionist artist, who collaborated with Georges Seurat to develop a specific painting method termed ‘Pontillism’. Parisian born Signac turned to painting after initially studying to be an architect. Based in Paris, he spent time travelling around Europe painting landscapes.
In April 1882, Signac sailed from Concarneau to the south of France for the first of many visits to Saint Tropez, after the death of Seurat in 1881. On reaching the port, which was then only accessible by boat, Signac was struck by the vista houses with terracotta roofs. Such was Signac’s love of the place, he bought a house in Saint Tropez and would spend summers painting, joined by friends. Over several decades, the harbour and coastline continued to be a source of inspiration leading to several other works.
Earlier this month on the 9th May 2016 in New York, Paul Signac’s painting, ‘Maisons du port Saint Tropez’ (inscribed Op.237) was auctioned for the first time at Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. For 58 years this painting was in the family collection of Ambassador John Langeloth Loeb, Jr. since his parents acquired it in July 1958. The painting sold for approximately $10.6m, having carried an estimate of $8-12 million USD.
Paul Signac painted ‘Maisons du port Saint Tropez’ at the height of his time as the forerunner of neo-impressionist painters, when he allocated ‘opus numbers’ to his works. Signac explained that this in this particular painting, ““The separated elements will be reconstituted into brilliantly coloured lights.”
Jeremiah Evarts, Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sales in New York, comments: “Maisons du port, Saint-Tropez is a true manifesto of Pointillism. Through this stunning view of Saint-Tropez, Signac is searching for the musicality and beauty in the world around him, and the resulting ‘Opus’ is the greatest we have seen come to auction in almost a decade.”
|Credit: ART DAILY: Sotheby’s to offer Paul Signac’s ‘Opus’ masterpiece Maisons du port, Saint-Tropez