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Terrasse de Meudon
By Paul Signac (1863-1935)
Oil on canvas; painted in 1899
Size: 70 x 89 centimetres
(27.5 x 35 inches)
Estimated price: £3-5 million
Price realised: £3,626,250

Painted in 1899, Paul Signac’s Terrasse de Meudon is an exquisite example of the artist’s mastery of the Pointillist technique. The painting is composed of a series of staccato brushstrokes that use an ‘optical mixing’ of colours to achieve an ultimate sensation of pure light and colour.

The scene depicts the view from the raised terrace at Meudon, a suburb of south-west Paris. This beautiful landscape is not only a representation of nature but also a historical record of the architectural development of fin de siecle Paris. At the centre of the composition one can see a modern viaduct, its row of vertical arches echoing the forms of the trees in the foreground.

Signac influenced a whole generation of painters across Europe, including Van Gogh and Gustav Klimt whom he exhibited alongside in 1900. In the same year that Signas painted Terrasse de Meudon he published a book on the subject of modern painting entitled D’Eugene Delacroix au Neo-Impressionnisme, in which he outlined the aesthetic agenda of the Neo-Impressionist movement, advocating the use of pure colour and declaring “The enemy of all painters is grey!”

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 3, 2012.