In 1893 Paul Signac, greatly shocked by the death of his dear friend, Georges Seurat, voyaged around the Mediterranean on a yacht. It was during this trip that he discovered the little fishing village of Saint Tropez and through his paintings, he introduced this little corner of the Cote d’Azur to many artists in Paris, Yvonne Canu being one of them.
Yvonne Canu was a Neo-Impressionist, as was Signac and heavily influenced by the work of the Pointillists such as Georges Seurat. Her round brushstrokes of juxtaposed pure colours give the viewer the opportunity of fusing the colours with their own eyes. It works remarkably well in the water and the shaded buildings to the left of the picture.
Born in Morocco in 1921, Canu studied at the École des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. After the Second World War she met Foujita who instructed her in drawing and composition and introduced her to the Impressionists. It was not long before she dedicated herself exclusively to Pointillism and adopted the technique for all of her paintings. She belongs to an interesting trend of French twentieth-century artists who looked to and expanded upon the theories of so-called Divisioniste artists of the late 19th century. Like them she often depicted seascapes, harbors and river scenes.
Yvonne Canu exhibited extensively after the Second World War until her death in 2008.