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About the item

The present work was painted in 1887 at a moment in Signac's career when the loose brushwork of his early Impressionist manner was being enriched with a systematic application of dots of colors, similar to the technique used by his colleague Seurat. This innovative technique, known as pointillisme, marked the beginning of Signac's career as a Neo-Impressionist.Located to the northwest of Paris, the suburb of Asnières, where the present work was painted became a favored subject for avant-garde landscape painters in the 1880s.  For example, Seurat's major paintings, Une baignade, Asnières and Une dimanche d'été à l'Ile de la Grande-Jatte were painted in the vicinity of Asnières.  Indeed, John Leighton and Richard Thomson have observed that  Asnières was "the site of Seurat's first large painting, [which] became for the next few years a key setting for experimental landscape painting" (J. Leighton & R. Thomson, Seurat and the Bathers [exhibition catalogue], The National Gallery, London, 1997, p. 137).  In 1887 the parallel bridges at Asnières also appeared in paintings by van Gogh (The Bridges, Asnières, 1887, Zürich, Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection) and Emile Bernard (Iron Bridges, Asnières, 1887, New York, Museum of Modern Art).\nSignificantly, Signac painted three views of the same area, Seine at Asnières, 1885, the present work of 1887 and Bridge at Asnières (The stern of the Tub in the sun), 1888.  He also made a sketch of this very composition on the occasion of its exhibition in Brussels in 1888 (see Fig. 2).  Considering these three compositions in oil, John Leighton and Richard Thomson have remarked, "Spread over three years, as they are, this trio of paintings represent motifs within a few hundred meters of each other. Signac's loyalty to the site is equalled by the consistency with which he represented it. All three pictures render industry and leisure in some kind of balance, setting off sailing boats and riverside bistros against the gasworks, factories and busy bridges of these suburbs. In essence, this is a polarity similar to that employed by Seurat in the Bathers" (J. Leighton & R. Thomson, ibid., pp. 139-140).\nThe inscription, Op. 155, refers to the artist's numbering system to classify his paintings using the Latin 'Opus' (work).  This practise stemmed from his interest in Charles Henry's studies of the rhythmic and harmonic analogies between music and painting, and Signac systematically employed this method of identification between 1887 and 1891.\nSigned P. Signac and dated 87 (lower left); inscribed Op. 155 (lower right)
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NY, US
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medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Paul Signac

condition

Please contact the Impressionist and Modern Art Department at (212) 606-7360 for the condition report for this lot. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

18 1/8 by 21 5/8 in.

exhibition

Brussels, 5e Exposition des XX, February 1888, no. 2London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre), Important XIX & XX Century Paintings and Sculpture, 1975, no. 13, illustrated in color in the catalogue London, The National Gallery, Seurat and the Bathers, 1997, no. 90, illustrated in color in the catalogue

literature

Richard Thomson, "Van Gogh in Paris: the Fortifications Drawings of 1887," Jong Holland, no. 3, The Hague, September 1984, illustrated p. 5Françoise Cachin, Signac, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 2000, no. 141, illustrated p. 180 and in color p. 95

provenance

Mme Gustave Kahn, ParisGalerie Le Barc de Boutteville, Paris Ernst Chausson (acquired from the above and thence by descent and sold: June 5, 1936, lot 40) Pierre Delebart, Paris Edward Speelman, London (by 1960) Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above on July 20, 1960, and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 11, 1999, lot 115) Private Collection, California (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 7, 2008, lot 9) Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman

signedDate

Signed P. Signac and dated 87 (lower left); inscribed Op. 155 (lower right)

time_period

Painted in April 1887.Please note that in the print catalogue for this sale, this lot appears as number 30T.

creator_nationality_dates

1863 - 1935


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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