Paul Seignac
French
1826-1904
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Paul Seignac was born in Bordeaux in 1826. He became a pupil of Edouard Picot (1786-1868), a history painter who executed a number of commissions in Paris. Seignac followed a different path specializing in genre painting depicting children and rural life. Compatriots included Louis Lasalle (1810-1885), Theophile Emmanuel Duverger (1821-1895) and Pierre Edouard Frere (1819-1886); in England artists such as William Bromley and Thomas Webster specialized in this field.

Many of Seignac’s works show children in endearing roles. His rural scenes were set in country villages depicting charming occurrences of everyday peasant life. These works, picturesque as they are, show social realism proliferated by artists like Jean Francois Millet (1814-1875). These works enjoyed huge popularity in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Most artists like Seignac, who painted peasants and peasant life, perpetuated this style, an inheritance from idyllic literature, which illustrated rustic life as romantic and charming. The imagery worked to reinforce the idyllic view o the countryside that the newly rich merchant, forced to spend his working life in urban surroundings, craved to have created for him.

Seignac exhibited at the Paris Salon, making his debut in 1849, and received an honourable mention in 1889. His works were, and remain, popular with collectors in France, (he was represented by Galerie des Artistes Modernes in Paris in his lifetime), England, Canada and the United States.