Paul Signac (1863-1935) Rotterdam
Lot 1
Paul Signac (1863-1935) Rotterdam
Sold for £10,625 (US$ 17,858) inc. premium
Lot Details
Paul Signac (1863-1935)
signed 'P. Signac' (lower left)
charcoal and watercolour on paper
20.2 x 26.4cm (7 15/16 x 10 3/8in).
Executed in 1906


    London, JPL Fine Arts.

    This work is sold with a photo-certificate of authenticity from Madame Marina Ferretti dated Paris, le 5 décembre 2011 and will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue raisonné.

    The present work depicts the entrance to Rotterdam's busy harbour, a view which Signac painted several times between 1906-7. A large 1907 painting of the same subject hangs in the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Amsterdam.

    A keen sailor, Signac began travelling through the ports of Europe from 1892 onwards. Sailing a small boat, he visited France, Holland, Venice and Constantinople, bringing back vibrant watercolours such as the present work which were executed rapidly en plein air. The artist would then return to his studio to work them into large colourful canvases, breaking these broad brushstrokes down into carefully placed small squares of juxtaposed colours in the Pointillist style that he and Georges Seurat had developed after meeting in 1894.

    Upon his first visit to Rotterdam in the year this work was executed, Signac wrote on a postcard showing the harbour view, 'From my window! What industriousness! I am enthusiastic, but amazed' (Signac, quoted on, accessed 16 December 2011). Such a feeling of speed and excitement is conveyed in the present work through the joyously curved outlines of the bridge and boats, bold diagonal hatching used to fill the sky and his broad dashes of colour.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this work is sold with an attestation of authenticity from Madame Marina Ferretti, and that there is no catalogue raisonne in preparation for watercolours at present thus not as stated in the catalogue.
  1. Deborah Allan
    Specialist - Impressionist and Modern Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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