In 1889, when Paul Signac visited Cassis, a small fishing village in the Marseille region of southern France, he created the work “Cassis, Lombard Work No. 196”. He was very interested in the atmosphere and light in the village, and this work is one of five paintings he painted there. In a letter to Vincent van Gogh dated April 12, 1889, Signac wrote: “White, blue, orange, harmoniously dispersed in beautiful undulations. Rhythmic curves surround the mountains. .”
Looking at this painting, we can clearly see how the painter used color to emphasize the characteristics of the coastal landscape. The beaches and dunes are brought to life through a variety of yellows, which eventually merge with the various shades of blue that make up the ocean and sky. The painted dots infuse a sense of movement into the sun-drenched landscape, enhancing memories of hot summer days. The artist may have been inspired by Japanese prints, a type of decorative work common in Japan. The great charm of this work lies in the tension of the composition and the tranquility of the scene.
Side note: Learn about Signac’s contemporary, Georges Seurat’s most famous pointillist painting, ” Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Big Bowl .” <3
Also if you want to learn more about Signac and Pointillism, check out our Post-Impressionism 101 course . 🙂
66 x 81 cm
Kunstmuseum Den Haag
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