world artist


Altre opere di Paul  Signac

Portrait of Félix Fénéon
oil on canvas,   46 x 39
Paul  Signac  - 1890
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

subject: portrait
descrizione: In this painting Signac portrays his friend Félix Fénéon, an influential French critic. Rather than literally depicting his appearance, Signac suggests his character, using line, color, pattern, and pose to evoke Fénéon's theatrical personality and creative energy. Carrying a top hat, gloves, and a cane, Fénéon resembles a fin-de-siècle dandy. He strides across a stage to offer a flower to an unseen figure against a lively kaleidoscopic backdrop of swirling colors, which echoes the rhythmic, linear designs of Art Nouveau. Signac based this pinwheel design on a Japanese print that was probably a design for a kimono but substituted his own colors and patterns, such as the stars in the lower right corner. This may be a reference to Fénéon's interest in the United States; the critic apparently cultivated a resemblance to Uncle Sam, complete with top hat and goatee. Signac called his painting, Portrait of Félix Fénéon in 1890, Opus 217: Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints. The title refers to the combination of sounds, lines, and colors that symbolist artists drew upon to convey the inner world of their subjects. In this portrait Signac captures the dynamic movement implied in his title by using a technique called pointillism. This style was based on scientific theories of color and perception that called for dabbing the canvas with tiny dots of pure pigment. Seen from a distance, the painting's broken strokes blend together into luminous hues, and the shapes and colors seem to vibrate with energy.


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