- Paul Signac
- Comblat-le-Château. La Vallée
- Signed P. Signac and dated 87 (lower left); inscribed Op. 163 (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
- 18 1/4 by 21 5/8 in.
- 46.5 by 55 cm
Charles Laurent, Paris (acquired in 1887)
Mme Thérèse A. Laurent (by descent from the above)
Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York (acquired from the above)
Mr. & Mrs. Benno C. Schmidt, New York (acquired from the above in 1964 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 10, 2000, lot 2)
Private Collection, Seattle (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 5, 2010, lot 36)
Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman
Paris, Pavillon de la Ville de Paris, 4e Exposition des artistes indépendants, 1888, no. 628 (titled Op. 163, Comblat-le-Château, Julliet 1887)
New York, 867 Madison Avenue (Christie, Manson & Wood), Van Gogh, Gauguin and their circle, 1968
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Nature as Scene — French Landscape Painting from Poussin to Bonnard, 1975, no. 61
Félix Fenéon, L'Art moderne, Paris, April 15, 1888, mentioned p. 123
Rodolphe Darzens, "L'Exposition des indépendants," La Revue moderne, May 10, 1888, mentioned p. 445
Marina Ferretti-Bocquillon, "Paul Signac au temps d'Harmonie 1895-1913," Signac et la liberation de couleur (exhibition catalogue),Westfälen Landsmuseum, Münster; Musée Grenoble & Kunstsammlungen, Weimar, 1996-97, mentioned p. 69
Françoise Cachin, Signac, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 2000, no. 149, illustrated p. 183
Years after he painted the present composition, Signac continued to champion pointillism and its great contribution to future generations of artists. He recognized that the Neo-Impressionist artists had paved a new way through uncharted artistic territory, and he concluded that the creative burden on future artists had been lessened by the discovery of these new painterly techniques: "In any case, they will not have repeated that which had been done before; they will have the risky honour of having produced a new way of expressing a personal ideal. They can develop, but always on the bases of purity and of contrast; they knew the importance and charm of these too well ever to renounce them. Gradually freed from the hindrances of their beginnings, the technique of separation, which permitted them to express their dreams in colour, became more supple and advanced, promising even more fertile resources. And if there is no artist among them whose genius allows him to develop this technique further, at least they have simplified his task. The triumphant colourist has only to appear: his palette has been prepared for him" (P. Signac, op. cit., p. 23).
The inscription Opus 163 refers to a numbering system devised by Charles Henry that related the rhythmic and harmonic principles of music and painting. Between 1887 and 1891, Signac used Henry's code, along with Whistler's precedent of musical titles, to identify his own paintings. The present work is closely related to another composition of the same year, Opus 160, in the collection of Musée des Beaux-Arts, Liège.