Signac, an avid yachtsman, is best known for his vivid views of French ports and incandescent seascapes. This painting of 1925 depicts one of the two lighthouses marking the harbor of Port-Tudy on the Île-de-Groix, a small island off the coast of Brittany in northern France. A guidebook of the time remarked on the town’s "multicolored tuna boats, with long yardarms like antennae, used for fishing." The broad, regular touches of color, visible especially in the sky and water, were a hallmark of Signac’s late style.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): P Signac / 1925
[Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, bought from the artist, May 26, 1925, for Fr 4500; stock no. 24.322, negative no. 5428; sold December 5, to Gleizes]; Gleizes, Paris (from 1925); Georges Lévy (by February 1926–at least May 30, 1930); sale, Palais Galliéra, Paris, April 3, 1962, no. 48, as "Bateaux pavoisés au phare de Groix," bought in at Fr 130,000; sold through the sale's commissaire-priseur, Étienne Libert, on April 17, 1962, for $27,350 to Hahn; [Stephen Hahn, New York, 1962; sold May 17, for $38,500, to Findlay]; [Wally Findlay Galleries, Palm Beach, Florida, 1962–63; sold May 18, to Dillon]; Douglas Dillon, New York (from 1963)
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Exposition Paul Signac," May 19–30, 1930, no. 41 (as "La phare. Groix").
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. "La peinture française: Collections américaines," May 13–September 15, 1966, no. 119 (lent by Douglas Dillon, New York).
Amsterdam. Van Gogh Museum. "Signac, 1863–1935," June 15–September 9, 2001, no. 152.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Signac, 1863–1935," October 9–December 30, 2001, no. 152.
Exposition Paul Signac. Exh. cat., Bernheim-Jeune. Paris, 1930, p. 5, no. 41, ill., dates it 1925.
Marina Ferretti-Bocquillon inPaul Signac: A Collection of Watercolors and Drawings. Exh. cat., Little Rock, Arkansas Art Center. New York, 2000, pp. 23–24, ill. (color), remarks on changes the artist made in the composition, following preparation of a large-scale india ink wash study (Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, Little Rock).
Françoise Cachin. Signac, catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Paris, 2000, p. 324, no. 568, ill.
This picture shows the harbor of Port-Tudy on the Île-de-Groix, a small island off the coast of southern Brittany opposite Lorient.