Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Paul Signac (1863-1935), Juan-les-Pins. Evening (detail), 1914, oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm. Private collection. Photo Maurice Aeschiman, Geneva
Paul Signac (1863-1935), Juan-les-Pins. Evening (detail), 1914, oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm. Private collection. Photo Maurice Aeschiman, Geneva
Temporarily closed
Free for Members

Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism

Signac and the Indépendants

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) invites visitors to journey to the artistic ebullience of France at the turn of the 20th century with its exhibition Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants. Discover a magnificent body of 500 paintings and graphic works from an exceptional private collection, and the largest collection of works by Paul Signac, that includes pieces by Signac and by avant-garde artists, Impressionists (Monet, Morisot), Fauves (Dufy, Friesz, Marquet), Symbolists (Gauguin, Redon), Nabis (Bonnard, Denis, Lacombe, Sérusier, Ranson, Vallotton), Neo-Impressionists (Cross, Luce, Pissarro, Seurat, Van Rysselberghe) and observers of life in Paris (Anquetin, Degas, Ibels, Lautrec, Picasso Steinlen).

Social and pictorial issues

Visitors can discover the social and pictorial issues of the era and what prompted a group of artists led by Signac to create the Salon des Indépendants in 1884, where they defended the idea of an artistic event with “no jury, no awards.” Art, they believed, had to be accessible and could contribute to the common good. From its inauguration in 1884 to the First World War, the Salon was a hub for major trends like Neo-Impressionism, the Nabis movement, Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism. The exhibition also situates the Indépendants in the socio-cultural and political context of Paris during the Belle Époque.

Paul Signac (1863-1935), Sainte-Anne (Saint-Tropez), 1903, oil on canvas. Private collection
Credit

Rare loans

In addition to the over 500 works from the private collection, two rare pieces have been loaned from the archives of Paul Signac’s descendants. One is the portrait Paul Signac as a Yachtsman (1896) by Théo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), and the other is a sketch of *In the Time of Harmony *(1893) by Paul Signac, which the public can view to learn more about this masterpiece that cannot be transported due to its size.

Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), Paul Signac as a Yachtsman, 1896. Private collection
Credit
Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), Kalf’s Mill in Knokke, or Windmill in Flanders, 1894. Private collection

Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), Kalf’s Mill in Knokke, or Windmill in Flanders, 1894. Private collection

Paul Signac (1863-1935), Bow of the Boat, Opus 176, 1888. Private collection

Paul Signac (1863-1935), Bow of the Boat, Opus 176, 1888. Private collection

Georges Lacombe (1868-1916), Bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Sainte-Barbe Coast), about 1904. Private collection

Georges Lacombe (1868-1916), Bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Sainte-Barbe Coast), about 1904. Private collection

Paul-Élie Ranson (1861-1909), Princesses on the Terrace, 1894. Private collection

Paul-Élie Ranson (1861-1909),* Princesses on the Terrace*, 1894. Private collection

Maurice Denis (1870-1943), The Cook, 1893. Private collection

Maurice Denis (1870-1943), The Cook, 1893. Private collection

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Girl with Cat, 1892, oil on canvas. Private collection

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Girl with Cat, 1892, oil on canvas. Private collection

Curatorial's top picks

PARIS AU TEMPS DU POSTIMPRESSIONNISME | «Légende de chevalerie» de Maurice Denis
PARIS IN THE DAYS OF POST-IMPRESSIONISM | “Fin de séance” by Lyonel Feininger
PARIS AU TEMPS DU POSTIMPRESSIONNISME | «Les Courses à Longchamp» de Pierre Bonnard
PARIS AU TEMPS DU POSTIMPRESSIONNISME | «La grande loge» d'Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Audioguides

Discover the works of the Post-Impressionists and learn about the period’s social context through our audioguides!

You can access the audioguide from the MMFA app.

See the Cultural Calendar, for the schedule of guided tours.

Creative workshops

Fanzine for kids ages 5 to 12

Download and print this activity before you visit the Museum.
Share your ideas and drawings as a family during and after your tour of the exhibition! All you have to do is print this document and find your very best coloured pencils. When you’re done, fold the notebook into a fanzine.

Printing engravings

The artists in Paul Signac’s circle during the Post-Impressionist era in Paris were searching for freedom and independence. They also wanted to make art accessible to all. To this end, some turned to printmaking and experimented with various techniques such as lithography, linocutting, woodcutting and etching. Have you ever tried any printing techniques? Is there a picture you would like to draw a single time and give to several people? The face of a loved one, a holiday memory, your favourite animal?

Scientific publication

The exhibition has a catalogue of 384 pages and over 550 illustrations released in French and English by the MMFA’s Publishing Department in collaboration with Éditions Hazan, Paris. Edited by Gilles Genty and Mary-Dailey Desmarais, it includes research findings and scientific essays by post-impressionism experts. Contributors to the book include Mark Antliff, Nathalie Bondil, Charlotte Hellmann, Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Claire Denis, Phillip Dennis Cate, Marina Ferretti Bocquillon, Gilles Genty, Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Anne Grace, Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond, Patricia Leighten, Katia Poletti, Véronique Serrano, Nicole Tamburini, Belinda Thomson and Richard Thomson.

They're talking about it

Ne serait-ce que pour la salle consacrée au merveilleux symboliste Odilon Redon, pour les Kandinsky, les Lautrec, pour les nabis et les fauvistes, le parcours vaut le détour.

Lire l'article

Le Devoir

Odile Tremblay

Ledevoir.com

Paris au temps du postimpressionnisme, c’est une dose de force, de liberté et de beauté.

À voir (et à revoir), histoire de se laisser transporter.

Read the article

Bien des salles de l’exposition sont particulièrement réussies. Celle sur « Le spectacle de Paris » est remarquable et met en scène des affiches publicitaires, des gravures et des peintures originales sur la vie nocturne dans la capitale française…

Read the article

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ latest exhibition since its reopening in June takes a Midnight in Paris-esque turn to la belle époque

Read the article

En plus d’être une exclusivité, c’est la première fois qu’une exposition canadienne accorde une telle importance à l’artiste Paul Signac et au néo-impressionnisme. [...]Ce rendez-vous est un remède à notre époque empoisonnée.

Read the article

It’s an adventure that has now reached a happy place in all respects. While the museum’s team could not have known how appropriate a choice of shows they made for a society roiled by trauma and gradually making its way out of isolation, the profound optimism and idealism of Signac’s vision and the work it encompasses shines through with uncanny timing.

Read the article

Une atmosphère qui fait de cette visite enrichissante un vrai moment de détente, tellement bienvenu cet été.

Read the article

Credits and Curatorial team

An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). It was curated by Gilles Genty, guest curator, and Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Director of the Curatorial Division and Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art, MMFA, under the direction of Nathalie Bondil.

Acknowledgments

The presentation of this exhibition has been made possible thanks to the outstanding support of the collector and his family, long-time friends of the MMFA.

The Museum wishes to acknowledge the generous contribution of Hydro-Québec, presenting sponsor of the exhibition, in association with XN Worldwide Insurance and Tourisme Montréal, as well as the vital contribution of its official sponsors, Air Canada and Denalt Paints. It also thanks the MMFA’s Angel Circle for its support of major exhibitions and media partners Bell, La Presse and the Montreal Gazette.

Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism has benefited from Heritage Canada under the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program. The MMFA extends its appreciation to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Conseil des arts de Montréal for their ongoing support.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts logo

Une présentation de

Hydro Québec
In collaboration with
XN Worldwide Insurance
Tourisme Montréal
MMFA's Angel Circle logo
Official Sponsors
Air Canada
Denalt
Médias partners
Bell
La Presse
Montreal Gazette
Public partners
Conseil des arts de Montréal
Canada Council for the Arts
Gouvernement du Canada
Gouvernement du Québec
Paul Signac (1863-1935), Sainte-Anne (Saint-Tropez), 1903, oil on canvas. Private collection

Paul Signac (1863-1935), Sainte-Anne (Saint-Tropez), 1903, oil on canvas. Private collection

Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), Paul Signac as a Yachtsman, 1896. Private collection

Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926),* Paul Signac as a Yachtsman*, 1896. Private collection

Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), Kalf’s Mill in Knokke, or Windmill in Flanders, 1894. Private collection

Theo Van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), Kalf’s Mill in Knokke, or Windmill in Flanders, 1894. Private collection

Paul Signac (1863-1935), Bow of the Boat, Opus 176, 1888. Private collection

Paul Signac (1863-1935), Bow of the Boat, Opus 176, 1888. Private collection

Georges Lacombe (1868-1916), Bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Sainte-Barbe Coast), about 1904. Private collection

Georges Lacombe (1868-1916), Bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Sainte-Barbe Coast), about 1904. Private collection

Paul-Élie Ranson (1861-1909), Princesses on the Terrace, 1894. Private collection

Paul-Élie Ranson (1861-1909),* Princesses on the Terrace*, 1894. Private collection

Maurice Denis (1870-1943), The Cook, 1893. Private collection

Maurice Denis (1870-1943), The Cook, 1893. Private collection

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Girl with Cat, 1892, oil on canvas. Private collection

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Girl with Cat, 1892, oil on canvas. Private collection

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation