Paul Signac and Saint-Tropez with Pamela Morton - Context Travel

Paul Signac and Saint-Tropez with Pamela Morton


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Arriving in the small fishing village of Saint Tropez in 1892, the artist Paul Signac wrote to his mother, "I am settled here since yesterday, and I am swimming in joy. There is enough material to work on for the rest of my days.” The leading figure of a rebel art colony set up on the French Riviera in opposition to the dominant Parisian trends, Signac encouraged fellow artists to portray the relaxed, rustic lifestyle of the south, capturing its sunny scenes of sea and shore in lively dots and dashes of bold, bright color. This webinar looks at the development of this southern artistic center, the work produced by its artists (including Matisse), and the historical and geographical context which shaped its artistic direction.

Paul Signac (1863-1935) is best known for his colorful, luminous views of the sea and harbor at Saint Tropez on the French Riviera. Working with vibrant combinations of contrasting colors especially yellow-oranges and blue-violets which he applied in mosaic-like, decorative touches, Signac depicted idyllic Mediterranean scenes of a pre-modern, pre-industrial world. In these dreamlike works, fishing boats glide silently and majestically toward shore returning to port at day’s end, their shapes grandly silhouetted against a golden sunset reflected in the glittering light scattered across the calm surface of the water.

This webinar considers the work that Signac and other like-minded artists produced in the art colony that developed in Saint-Tropez under Signac’s leadership. These artists shared painting methods and theories that were part of a late nineteenth-century art movement known as Neo-Impressionism or Pointillism, characterized by small dots of unblended pure color to heighten the effects of luminosity. Unconcerned with the fleeting effects of weather and light, the Neo-Impressionists rejected the spontaneity of Impressionism for an approach involving carefully worked out, balanced and harmonious compositions. At the heart of this movement was a utopian message of social and political harmony and a belief in the beneficial effects of living in tune with nature.

Led by Pamela Morton, an expert on the artists of the South of France, this interactive seminar will look at the artistic life of the colony, investigating its origins, beliefs, and development as well as its membership (which included Matisse). We will also consider the historical and geographical context that shaped the colony’s artistic direction. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of Neo-Impressionism and its connection with Saint-Tropez.

Originally from the US, Pamela has lived in France (Aix-en-Provence and Marseille) for 25 years. Pamela teaches studio art and art history for American university programs in Aix. She trained in art restoration in Italy and has a background in museum work as a curatorial assistant and program director. She is also an artist working in mixed media -- drawing and painting. She attended Bennington College and California College of the Arts. She's worked as the on-site director for a study abroad program and for educational programs including the Smithsonian, Alumni International and Cultural Experiences Abroad. She's taught for Northwestern University, Oberlin College, and the Marchutz School of Art (Aix). As an art historian, Pamela is endlessly fascinated by the local culture, the archaeology, history, and architecture of the region as well as its monuments and museums. As a painter, she is intrigued by the light and colors of this southern realm, the Midi, where so many artists lived and worked. Her two favorite artists from Provence are Cézanne and van Gogh.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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S
S.G.
Beautiful Art in Saint-Tropez

Pamela Morton gave us a lesson in the beautiful art of Paul Signac and his connection to other artists, in particular to George Seurat. We traveled to Saint-Tropez and experienced the beauty, serenity and harmony of the French Riviera through Signac's eyes.

J
J.M.J.
Simply a reaction to the Signac presentation......

I think we have watched all of Pamela Morton’s presentations with ContextTravel. She is informative, enlightening, and engaging, and we try not to miss any of her lectures. As would be the case with others, we are enticed back to Provence every time we see (and hear) her commentaries.
One quick note: the audio for the Signac presentation—at least on my computer—was a bit distorted. I trust that this momentary glitch will be corrected tomorrow!

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.G.
Beautiful Art in Saint-Tropez

Pamela Morton gave us a lesson in the beautiful art of Paul Signac and his connection to other artists, in particular to George Seurat. We traveled to Saint-Tropez and experienced the beauty, serenity and harmony of the French Riviera through Signac's eyes.

J
J.M.J.
Simply a reaction to the Signac presentation......

I think we have watched all of Pamela Morton’s presentations with ContextTravel. She is informative, enlightening, and engaging, and we try not to miss any of her lectures. As would be the case with others, we are enticed back to Provence every time we see (and hear) her commentaries.
One quick note: the audio for the Signac presentation—at least on my computer—was a bit distorted. I trust that this momentary glitch will be corrected tomorrow!