Vignon, Paul-Victor

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 Paul-Victor Vignon 

(1847 – 1909)


Was Vignon an Impressionist?
In several works Vignon used many browns and/or greys. In several works his brushstroke was quite flat. So in several works his style is not impressionistic. Still in many other works Vignon used bright colours, lively, even juxtaposed brushstrokes, using blues and violets for the shades and also slightly unnatural colours.


Victor-Paul Vignon exhibited at the Salon:
Vignon only exhibited at the Salon of 1878 (iR1;R9).


(Paul-)Victor Vignon joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions in 1880, 1881, 1882 and 1886:
At the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1880 Vignon showed 9 works (catalogue numbers 216-224; R2,p314).
At the 6th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1881 Vignon showed 15 works (catalogue numbers 151-165; R2,p356).
At the 7th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1882 Vignon showed 15 works (catalogue numbers 189-203; R2,p394).
Monet had resistance against the joining of Vignon (R22I,p175;R1,p468;R3). Eugène Manet wrote to his wife Berthe Morisot that the works of Vignon were ‘very mediocre’ (R1,p472;R5,p133). Probably most of the works belonged to Durand-Ruel (R1,p471).
At the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886 Vignon showed 18 works (catalogue numbers 218-234ter; R2,p447), no.234 counting 2 extensions, no. 233 was left out. Félix Fénénon reviews that his works are ‘invariable and dull’ (R9).
See link for his exhibited pictures in -/- 1880, in -/- 1881, in -/- 1882 and in -/- 1886. See link for an +/-account.


Vignon at other exhibitions:
1894: Bernheim organised an important retrospective (R9). 1899: at the auction of the collection of count Doria there werre 25 works of Vignon (R9). In 1900 Vignon exhibits at the Centennale of the Exposition Universelle in a separate room for the Impressionist school (R116I,p294). 1906: the Stumpf collection contained 15 of his works (aR2).
Posthumous there were exhibitions in New York at the Durand-Ruel Gallery in 1923; Amsterdam, 1938; (iR24).


Vignon as an artist:
1869ca: Vignon was a pupil of Corot (iR69;iR24;iR60;R9;R3;R16;R273;R272,p5+7;R89,p60) and (in-official) of Cals (R3;R9;iR69;R272,p5), with whom he painted in Honfleur in 1874 (R272,p7). The earlier works of Vignon had much resemblance with those of Corot (for example a ‘feathery brushstroke’), but after 1880 this influence disappeared (R273;R89,p60). Still in 1882 Eugène Manet, the husband of Morisot, accused him of ‘imitations of Corot’ (R89,p60). Vignon works in 1874 together with Cals in Honfleur (R272,p7). From 1874-76 Vignon painted with Cézanne and Pissarro (and Guillaumin) in Pontoise, Auvers-sur-Oise and surroundings (iR69;R16;R3;R9;R89,p46; others mention he worked with Pissarro from 1878-80 (iR41). In the Critical Catalogue of Pissarro there is no mention at all (R116). Still, Belloli includes Vignon to the school of Pontoise, including also Béliard and Gauguin (and Guillaumin)  (R17,p179). Sometimes it is hard to discern what work is made by whom (R17,p190). In a letter to Pissarro (1903/02/15) Vignon mentioned they have known each other for 30 years (R116I,p315), so indicates a start of this friendship around 1873, a year that is affirmed by Adler (R89,p60). Anyway Vignon would for over 20 years dwell and live in the surroundings of Auvers-sur-Oise and Nesles-le-Vallée (R272,p5). From 1878-83 the influence of Pissarro and Cézanne on his work is clearly perceptable (R272,p5). Probably around  1881 Vignon and Gauguin did meet and around 1888-90 they exchanged a painting (R181,p585+51). Between 1885-1900 his cachet / seal and use of colour had become very personal and recognizable (R273). Still, a development is hard to trace, because Vignon didn’t date many of his works (R272,p5). Before 1874 Vignon used many earth tones (R272,p5).
Vignon was befriended with the art-dealer Gachet, the art-collector Murer and Vincent and Théo van Gogh (R3;R272,p5). Vignon also had contacts with Comte Armand Doria and in 1888 dedicated a work to him (R272,p7). There were several art-collectors who collected Vignon his work and this gave him many years without financial worries (R272,p5; Rouart is also mentioned as a collector, but in the 1912 sale there was no work of Vignon). Some claim that Vignon was a protégé of Degas (R5,p125;R4,p238), but others oppose him to the faction of Degas (R1,p449).
Vignon wanted to reason the visual impression, to prevail the feeling over the sensation (R9). Vignon constitutes a tenuous link between Corot, the Impressionists and the Barbizon school (iR69). Vignon paintings are bright and well constructed (R9). Some judge that Vignons works show little personality (R1,p522) and are not original (R9). His landscapes became repetitious (R9). His works were more popular with the art-collectors, than with the art-critics (iR41). Vignon rendered a realistic, but also a pittoresque and poetic representation of the motif (R272,p6). The branches of the trees often compartmentalize his paintings, the horizon is mostly high and curving paths create a perspectival effect (R272,p6;R89,p60). He included a figure to give scale and to indicate the human prensence (R89,p60).
Vignon also was an engraver (iR24;iR60;iR69). Vignon painted many small landscapes (R273).
Vignon painted in Clamart (1875), Chatou, Bougival (1876+77), La Celle-Saint-Cloud, Pontoise, Auvers-sur-Oise (1877+83+84+88+89), Jouy-le-Comte (1884+86+87), Osny, Hardricourt, Vaux-sur-Seine, Vaux-sur-Oise (1884), Evecquemont, Honfleur (1874), Noroy-sur-Ourcq (1875+87), Chaponvalle (1882). Bonneville (1883), Parmain (1886+87), Nesles-la-Vallée (1886+88), Ourrouy (where Comte Armand Doria lived), Varengeville (1887), Béthancourt-en-Valois, Chenival (1890) (R9;R273;R272,p7;iR41). His works are displayed in musea in Amsterdam, Bayonne, Aix-les-Bains, Reims and in musée d’Orsay (R9;aR2).


Victor-Alfred-Paul Vignon, a short biography:

  • 1847/12/25: Victor-Alfred-Paul Vignon was born in Villers-Cotterêts (Aisne) (iR69;iR24;iR60;R3;R9;iR1;R273;R89,p60), about 84km north-east of Paris (iR9)
  • his father was a trader in spices (R272,p7)
  • his mother was Catherine Bouchard (iR69;R272,p7); some say his mother was the sculptor Marie-Cadiot Naomi (iR41;R89,p60).
  • Vignon came from a wealthy background (iR41)
  • 1878-86: Vignon his correspondance address was 29, rue Saint-Georges, Paris (iR1;R2), where Père Martin had his residence (R272,p7)
  • 1879: Vignon exhibited in Pau, together with Boudin, Caillebotte, Cals, Sisley (R272,p7+8)
  • 1880: dwelled in Valhermeil, near Auvers-sur-Oise and in Montmartre (R272,p7)
  • 1880+81+96: Vignon exhibited with the Société des Amis des Arts de Reims (R272,p8)
  • 1883: Théo van Gogh bought ‘Jeune femme dans les vignes’ for 200fr, which is now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (R272,p7)
  • 1886: Vignon lived at Jouy-le-Comte (aR2)
  • 1887: Vignon lived at the Morcourt mill in Jouy-le-Comte (R272,p7)
  • 1888: Eugène Murer dedicated to Vignon a short story whose heroine is a fish merchant in the market of Pontoise (R272,p7)
  • 1889: Vignon had heart problems (R272,p7)
  • 1890: Vignon gave as his correspondance address 4, Avenue Frochot, Paris, residence of the etcher Henri Guérard (R272,p7)
  • 1890-92: Vignon exhibited at the Expositions des Peintres-Graveurs français at the Durand-Ruel Gallery (R272,p8)
  • 1894: large solo exhibition of Vignon at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, with a preface by Roger Marx (R3;R272,p7+8).
  • 1898: Vignon began to loose sight, which also caused him ‘cruel pains’ (R272,p7)
  • 1900: Vignon lived at 109, Rue de Paris, Clamart (R272,p7)
  • 1900: Vignon participated in a writing of Arsène Alexandre on Cals (R272,p7)
  • 1900: Vignon exhibited at the Exposition Centennale (R272,p8).
  • 1901: a large exposition of works of Vignon at the Georges Petit Gallery; they were sold for higher prices than Pissarro’s works did in those days (R273;R272,p7+8).
  • 1902: lived in Mareil-sur-Maudre and in Aincourt (R272,p7)
  • 1903/06/04: An auction sale is organised at Hôtel Drouot on behalf of Vignon, who lived in the most abject poverty; organised by Julie Manet-Rouart and Durand-Ruel; works were donated by Monet, Pissarro (CCP1045), Renoir and Fantin-Latour (R116I,p315).
  • 1903/03/18: sale of the collection of Arsène Alexandre at the Georges Petit Gallery including 8 works of Vignon (R272,p7+30)
  • 1903: sale of the collection of George Freydeau, including works of Vignon (R272,p7)
  • 1906/05/07: sale of the collection of M. F. Stumpf at the Georges Petit Gallery, including 14 works of Vignon; Stumpf did possess 150 works of Vignon and was a friend of Corot (R272,p5+7+30)
  • 1907/03/21+22: sale of the collection of George Viau at the Durand-Ruel Gallery, including 7 works of Vignon (R272,p7+30;R244;iR261;iR272)
  • 1909/03/17: Vignon died in his house 17, Rue de Beauvais, Meulan (-en-Yvelines, Seine et Oise; also Île-de-France) (R272,p7;iR24;iR69;iR60;R9;R3), 44km west of Paris and 20km south of Pontoise (iR9).
  • 1909: Vignon was burried at the cemetary of Meulan (R272,p7)
  • 1911/05/29: sale at Hôtel Drouot on behalf of Vignon his widow of a part of the collection of Vignon (including works of Cassatt, Morisot, Pissarro, Redon and Renoir) and 9 paintings of Vignon and 2 pastels and 2 drawings (aR6=iR40)
  • 1914/05/11+12: sale of the collection of Roger Marx at the Manzi Joyant Gallery, including 3 works of Vignon (R272,p30;R245;iR261)
  • 1914/06/12+13: second sale of the collection of Roger Marx at Hôtel Drouot, including 3 works of Vignon (R272,p30)
  • 1919/12/01+02+03: first sale of the collection of Hazzard at the Georges Petit Gallery, with 35 works of Vignon (R272,p30)
  • 1921/03/06 – 04/16: posthumous exhibition at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery of 47 works by Vignon (R272,p8+31)
  • 1927/03/19 – 04/15: posthumous exhibition at the Jacques Callot Gallery of 30 works by Vignon, with a preface by Roger Marx and earlier texts by Roger Marx (1894) and Arsène Alexandre (1901) (R272,p8)
  • 1938/03/15 – 04/15: exhibition of 42 works of Vignon at the art-dealer Huinck & Scherjon in Amsterdam (R273).
  • 2002: solo exhibition of Vignon of 33 paintings, 9 drawings and 9 etchings at Musée Tavet Delaclour in Pontoise (R272)




Vignon is not mentioned in the circuit Pontoise (R137). My main sources are the exposition catalogues from Amsterdam 1938 (R273) and Paris 2002 (R272) and ‘the unknown Impressionists’ by Adler (R89), who dedicates less than 1 page to Vignon. Other sources are Rewald (1973=R1), Moffett (1986, R2), Walther (2013, R3,p702), Denvir (1993, R5), Schurr&Cabanne (2008=R9,p726), Spiess (1992=R16,p362), Belloli (1990=R17), Wildenstein (1996=R22), the Salon database (iR1), Wikipedia (iR3), RKD (iR24), askart (iR41), ULAN (iR60), Bénézit (iR69) and the additional references. For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are Wikimedia (iR6) and xx. For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
For further reading:
Bénézit (1976,vol.10,p507=R75;1999,vol.14,p234=R76); Witt (1978,p317=R78); Thieme/Becker (vol.34,p358=R79); Allgemeines Künstlerlexicon (1999-2000,vol.10,p262=R81) (iR24)
Zeiger-Viallet, Edmond H.: Le Centenaire de la naissance de Victor Vignon. Le journal de Montreux, no.227, 1947/09/29.
Bailly-Herzberg, Janine: Correspondance de Camille Pissarro; Vol. I-V. Paris, ?
Venturi, L.: Les Archives de l’Impressionnisme; Vol.I. 1939
Spiess, Jacques: Catalogue Raisonné de l’Oeuvre Peint de Victor Vignon (in preparation).



Additional references:

  1. (website about Vignon and related painters; in French)
  2. (Vignon was active in Parmain and surroundings, close to Pontoise)
  3. (PDF of the exhibition ‘Impressionnisme dans la vallée d’Oise’ in MCP Pontoise in 2007 = iR109)
  4. (reference that Vignon painted in Nesles-la-Vallee; as did Bureau)
  5. artexpertise (biography on Vignon)
  6. (posthumus catalogue of 1911; =iR40)
  7.  “Victor Alfred Paul Vignon.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Oct 28, 2019.  =iR261; overview of contributions of Cals in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915
  8. x



Citation: Please do not quote from this webpage, which is under construction. The information is incomplete and maybe partly incorrect.