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Dotting St Topez

Pointe St Pierre by Theo Van Rysselberghe

St Tropez has entranced many painters over the years.

Paul Signac setlled in the village in 1892 and was one of the first of a long lineage of artists to soak in and then express the sights of St Tropez, the delectable sea, the pine trees leaning away from the wind, the contrast of vivid colors.

Others soon followed suit such as Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Bernard Buffet, but also the frequent traveler and talented belgian painter Theo Van Rysselberghe whose "Pointe St Pierre, St Tropez" is seen above.

Red Buoy Of St Tropez by Paul Signac

A new style of painting soon flourished in St Tropez, the pointillist style. Rather than brush color on the canvas, the pointillist painters dotted their canvases with a mutlitude of tiny drops of pure paint. arranged precisely across the frame. Through this style, shapes, nuances, shades and colors come to life in the eye of the observer rather than through the mixing of colors on the artist's palette.

In a way, it's the precursor to computer dot printing where tiny jets of ink are applied to a page. Of course, this was done not through the churning of bytes by computer processors but through the visionary minds of artists drawn to a new form of painting. It was a revolutionary way of painting that broke with tradition. As a result, it rubbed a few critics the wrong way at the time.

You can admire some of the pointillists' paintings at the St Tropez Annonciade Museum.

Pine Tree At St Tropez by Paul Signac