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Art Diary

Signac the Collector

22 October 2021

The painter Paul Signac was not enormously wealthy, but the close connections he maintained with avant-garde groups throughout his career enabled him to form a substantial collection, including several works that are now prominently displayed in major museums. Working closely with the Signac Archives, the Musée d’Orsay has established for this exhibition (until 13 February 2022) a full inventory of the paintings, designs and engravings belonging to Signac. The works reassembled here retrace his life and career, from his early years as a close student of the Impressionists – his first purchase was a landscape by Cézanne from around 1880 – to his prominent role (along with Georges Seurat) among the Neo-Impressionists in the 1880s–90s, and his later championing of the Fauves and other avant-garde movements in the early 20th century. Find out more from the Musée d’Orsay’s website.

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The flock of sheep, Eragny-sur-Epte (1888), Camille Pissarro.

The Flock of Sheep, Eragny-sur-Epte (1888), Camille Pissarro. Photo: © Peter Schälchli, Zürich

The Circus (1893), Georges Seurat.

The Circus (1893), Georges Seurat. Photo: © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Patrice Schmidt

Two Herrings (1889), Vincent van Gogh. Private collection. Photo: © musée d’Orsay/Patrice Schmidt

River at Saint-Clair (1908), Henri-Edmond Cross.

River at Saint-Clair (1908), Henri-Edmond Cross. Photo: © Sotheby’s/akg-images

At sea, portrait of Paul Signac (1896), Théo van Rysselberghe

At Sea, Portrait of Paul Signac (1896), Théo van Rysselberghe. Archives Signac. Photo: akg-images/Erich Lessing