Paul Signac was a close friend and supporter of Georges Seurat , revolutionary artists who were also politically active. Signac was a well known Anarchist and he explains right at the beginning the practice of Divisionism. “Is an artist not someone who strives to create unity within variety by the rhythm of colours and tones and who puts science at the service of his feelings”. .
Signac like Seurat believed that they were Neo Impressionists , he further comments “Neo Impressionism des not stipple but divides , yet to divide is to assure all benefits of Luminosity of colour and Harmony”. .
Signac was able to show using the scientific approach how important Line and the right application of Colours were. “This informed about line and colour , the artist will certaintly determine the linear and chromatic composition of the painting by using the dominant directions, tones and hues appropriate for the subject he is about to depict”. .
Light and colour were important . This is clarified by a number of commentators. ” If these painters who best fit the epithet Chromo-Luminarism adopted the name of Neo-impressionism , to give homage to the effect of their precursors and to under diverging methods the common goal of light and colour”. . “Not only did they eliminate from their pallets all mixes of confused colour but they also avoided sullying the purity of their colours”.. The following paintings establish this fact beyond any doubt.
Harmony was one of the important factors in Divisionism and pointillism. “In a general way we can admit that Neo Impressionist work is more harmonious than that of the Impressionists”.. As I argued in my article on Georges Seurat pointillism was a more scientific approach to art making sure light , colour and Harmony fit into place unlike the very shallow pictures of Monet and Renoir.
The last picture I have shown is very significant because Signac has used Geometric patterns to show how a right and scientific approach taking all factors into consideration like distance colour and harmony will create the right perspective. ” Signac drew upon Seurat’s very valuable contributions , the methodical and balanced separation of the elements”. .
As well as being a very accomplished artist Signac was a very good writer on Art History . In his very long article “From Eugene Delacroix to Neo Impressionism” Signac establishes the method of Pointillism or Divisionism as Seurat liked to refer to it.
” The Neo Impressionist does not stipple , he divides and dividing involves guaranteeing all benefits of light ,colouration and harmony by
1) an optical mixture of pigment which are pure
2) The separation of different Elements
3) The balance of these elements and their proportion. To obtain this colourful and luminous vividness ,the neo impressionist only make uses of pure colours , which are close to the colours of the Prism.
To divide is to seek the strength and Harmony of colour by representing coloured light by its pure elements and by employing the optical mix of these separated pure elements measured out according to the essential laws of contrast and graduation”. . I have used the full quote to demonstrate the Revolutionary concept of Divisionism.
In this short article on Paul Signac I have explained the revolutionary aspect of Divisionism/Pointillism which would lead to art appreciated by all leading to Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh who used Colour to such effect and had completed what the great Colourist Eugene Delacroix set out to achieve ‘Art in the Public sphere’ which would be appreciated by all classes in Society.
1) PAUL SIGNAC PARKSTONE PRESS INTERNATIONAL FRONTSPIECE
2) DITTO. PG 10
3) DITTO PG 12
4) DITTO PG 152
5) DITTO PG 154
6) DITTO PG 162
7) DITTO PG 178
8) ART IN THEORY 1815-1900 PAUL SIGNAC FROM EUGENE DELACROIX TO NEO IMPRESSIONISM PGS 978-982.