Paul Signac

Paul Signac, Les Bateaux, four-color lithograph, 1895

Les Bateaux

[The Boats]

Kornfeld & Wick 13

four-color lithograph, 1895, on fine wove paper, a very fine impression, most probably the 3rd state (of three), unsigned, with full margins, very slightly yellowed along margins from an old mount, a filiform imperfection in the paper lower right, a short diagonal handling crease lower right, traces of hinges above (verso), otherwise in quite excellent condition

L. 235x398 mm.  S. 410x530 mm.

Provenance: a private Parisian collection

This was Signac's last lithograph for the publisher Gustave Pellet, and we know that he worked diligently on the final version.  There is the Bon ŕ tirer impression in collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which is richly annotated by the artist in view of the edition:


There are subtle differences in the colors of the impressions from the edition, and ours tends more to refined atmospheric pastels.*

Kornfeld & Wick note too that the edition was not systematically signed and/or numbered (the size of this edition was 40 impresions).

This print was in any case a misty-bright morning tribute by Signac to the majestic clipper ships, with two of the boats under full sail; the age of the clipper ships, which reached its height in the 1850s, was already in decline thirty years later...

Paul Signac was an ardent and tireless sailor, from Saint Tropez to the North Sea, and seascapes make up a major part of his œuvre.  There was an important exhibition focussing on this aspect of Signac's art, held at Giverny in 2013,  Signac : les Couleurs de l'Eau (see

* Cf for example the impression in the Kornfeld & Wick catalogue raisonné or the impression sold at Christie's in October 2018:

Our impression appears to chromatically conform closer to the "Bon ŕ tirer" impression in the MFA, Boston.