Seurat finishes his Dimanche après-midi à l'Ile de la Grande Jatte in 1886. For the first time he had applied in large size his understanding of Chevreul's theories on the persistence of colors. The preparation was long and tedious and the dull result is mostly suitable for the hermetic social message of the artist.
During summers Signac and Seurat work in different villages without meeting each other. These sessions are however carefully prepared and when they come back in their workshops the comparison of their results confirms the consistency of their practices.
Signac pushes Seurat to an observation of bright lights. He paves that way, in 1886 in the Seine valley, in 1887 at Collioure and in 1888 in Brittany at Portrieux. During these three summers Signac improves his pointillism. At the same time his landscape becomes minimalist to better exploit the confrontation of colors.
On May 8 in New York, Christie's sells as lot 21 a view in Portrieux. This oil on canvas 60 x 92 cm may be considered as the culmination of the 1888 summer season by Signac, with a composition dominated throughout its lower part by the almost monochrome yellow expanse of the sandy beach, contrasting with the pointillist blue of the sea.
Signac will find in 1892 a brighter sun in Saint-Tropez. The view of the houses with their reflections in the sea, 47 x 55 cm, was sold for $ 10.7M including premium by Sotheby's on May 9, 2016.
Pointillism was not highly spectacular except in an extreme yellow or orange. Signac and van Rysselberghe are perhaps the only ones to have understood and briefly applied such observation.
SOLD for $ 13.8M including premium