After studying at the Académie libre de Bing in Paris, Signac discovered Impressionist painting through Armand Guillaumin, with Paul Cézanne’s, Vincent van Gogh’s and Paul Gauguin’s works interesting him most. Under Georges Seurat’s influence, Signac got to know the Pointillist style in 1884. Going beyond an Impressionist conception of perception, the Pointillists aimed at a depiction of light as the true task of painting in their view. To achieve this aim, they limited their palette to the so-called spectral colors visible in refraction. These were placed on the canvas in many tiny dots to form certain colors and forms only when seen by the viewer. Signac exploited this effect for a Seine landscape with motorboats and barges, bathed in a pale, early autumn light. The picturesque scene of the gothic church of Saint-Cloud rises over the Saint-Cloud bridge in the background. Signac changed the original title The Seine near [?] St. Cloud, as documented in Le cahier d’opus which Signac had been keeping since 1887, to St; Cloud in the Cahier manuscript that the painter kept as list of works from 1902. The Seine near Saint Cloud was the first of Signac’s works purchased by a German museum. Karl Ernst Osthaus acquired the painting at an exhibition of the Berlin gallery Keller & Reiner in Februry 1901, about which Paul Signac noted critically in his diary: “L’exposition de Berlin a été un four: … (moi la Seine à Saint-Cloud pour un musée créé par un particulier à Hagen)”.