In 1891 Seurat suddenly dies at 31 years old. Signac, very shocked, tries unsuccessfully to promote the art of his friend. In the same year Cross settles in Le Lavandou for therapeutic reasons. He advises Signac to come back to vigor under the sun of the South.
A great lover of yachting, Paul Signac leaves Brittany in the following year and sails to the Mediterranean Sea through the Canal du Midi. He is dazzled by Saint-Tropez, a small fishing village that is at that time only accessible by boat. He settles therein permanently. The beauty of this place isolated from the rest of the world satisfies his quest for an anarchist paradise on earth.
Signac immediately applies his artistic theories to the shiny sun of Saint-Tropez. On February 27 in London, Christie's sells as lot 26 an oil on canvas 65 x 81 cm painted in 1892, identified in his ledger as Opus 236 with the title "Le Port au soleil couchant". The splendid colors are enhanced in naive style outlines in the taste of Seurat.
The next Opus, 237, is titled Maisons du Port, Saint-Tropez. Signac applies here a less poetic drawing where the too visible dots come to blur the desire for a topographic realism. This smaller oil on canvas 47 x 55 cm was sold for $ 10.7M including premium by Sotheby's on May 9, 2016.
SOLD for £ 19.5M including premium