Monday Lectures

Zoom lecture


 7 February 2022



Signac the Collector

An exhibition at Musée d’Orsay, Paris 

with Chris Boïcos

Theo van Rysselberghe, At Sea - Portrait of Paul-Signac, 1896
Theo van Rysselberghe, At Sea - Portrait of Paul-Signac, 1896

Born into a well-to do bourgeois family, the Neo-Impressionist painter Paul Signac was able to buy works of art throughout his life. The Musée d’Orsay is currently presenting key works from the original Signac collection now housed in museums across the world. The result is an exhibition of extremely high caliber proving that there is no better judge of good artists’ work than another good artist.


Signac frequently purchased works by his friends and fellow Divisionists, Georges Seurat (an extraordinary selection of the artist’s charcoal drawings), Camille Pissarro, Maximilien Luce or Henri-Edmond Cross but he was also keen on contemporary painters of the 1890s like the Nabis Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Maurice Denis and Félix Vallotton, but also Odilon Redon and Walter Sickert. In the early 20th century, as president of the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, he encouraged the generation of the Fauves. They are represented in his collection by Kees Van Dongen, Charles Camoin, Louis Valtat and Henri Matisse’s celebrated early masterpiece Luxe, calme et volupté (1904).

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