Paul Signac
(Paris, 1863-1935, Paris)
Canal della Giudecca, Morning (Santa Maria della Salute), 1905
Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm
Signed & dated lower left: P. Signac 05
Cachin 420
Signac adhered all his life to the tenets of "Neo-Impressionism", and he became its tireless champion and successful propagator, as he was able to demonstrate the basic insights of chromatic theory even in Delacroix. His theoretical bent was balanced by a robust love of sport (he was a passionate sailor), which was also bound to have a decisive influence on his work. The more than one hundred French harbours into which he sailed are reflected in his work. Later he extended his cruises to Venice and Istanbul, from which both the sailor and the painter profited. An enlargement of the spots of pure colour, which justified the larger dimensions of his later landscapes, permitted swifter work, and also in patches of sky and water these spots were so loosely set down, in horizontal rectangles like mosaic stones, that the white ground of the picture became visible and contributed to the illusion that air and water are vibrating. The view of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice is a typical example of this. From the turquoise steps in the foreground, the painting brightens upwards into pink and pale blue tones, which lend the picture the intended maximum in brilliance and chromatic effect.