Entrance to the Port of Honfleur

Paul Signac (French, 1863-1935)

Currently on View in H209
Image Licensing

  • Animating this harbor scene is the glowing arc of a rainbow. Painted in 1899, years after the heyday of the Neo-Impressionist movement, the seascape shows the artist relying upon deep and vibrant hues that no longer follow Seurat’s use of color division.
  • Signac’s brushwork has also changed from the fine dots of the 1880s to a broader, looser stroke, applied in different directions across the surface of the canvas.
  • Signac was an avid sailor and painted many of the ports along the coasts of France. This view depicts Honfleur, a small town in Normandy, near the English Channel.

Richard Samson, Hamburg, Germany; {1} Alfred Aufhauser, Samson's nephew, New York in 1930s. Sale (Christie's, London, England) 30 November 1962, lot. No. 34, unsold, Martin Fabiani, Paris, France. (Edward Speelman, Ltd., London, England), Sale (Sotheby's, London, England) 31 March 1965, lot no. 42 (ill.); {2} acquired by W. J. Holliday, Indianapolis, Indiana; bequeathed to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1979.

{1} For the early provenance of this painting see Françoise Cachin, Signac: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 2000, no. 330 (ill.).
{2} The remaining provenance is recorded in Ellen Wardwell Lee, The Aura of Neo-Impressionism: The W. J. Holliday Collection, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1983, pp. 58-9.

Object Information

Paul Signac (French, 1863-1935)
creation date
oil on canvas
16-3/8 x 19-7/8 in. (canvas)
24 x 27-7/16 x 1-3/4 in. (framed/Optium Plexiglas)
accession number
credit line
The Holliday Collection
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

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