Description: With a loud manner and a fiery personality, Paul Signac burst onto the Paris art scene in the 1880s with an energy and independence that landed him in the spotlight. A close friend and colleague of Georges Seurat and Henri-Edmond Cross, Signac translated his theories on color and form into some of the most visually stunning works of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A peripatetic traveler throughout his life, Signac spent the summer of 1885 in the Brittany coastal resort of St. Briac, seeking a change of scenery and artistic inspiration. Throughout the summer, Signac painted several views of St. Briac’s rocky coastline, capturing it at various times of day and under dramatically different light effects. He painted St. Briac, the Cross of the Seamen at the spot where the Frémur River spills into the English Channel at high tide and at midday, when the sun renders the ocean a vivid blue. The cross in the foreground, la croix des marins, was erected to bless passing fishermen, who were the source of Breton sustenance and what little prosperity they knew.