Hippolyte Petitjean was a French Post-Impressionist painter who mainly practiced the technique of pointillism.


His life and work

Hippolyte Petitjean was born in Mâcon on 11 September 1854 into a family of modest means.


When he was 13, Petitjean became an apprentice in the workshop of an artisan painter and began his art studies in the evening classes given at the École de dessin in Mâcon. The town gave him a grant to continue at the École des Beaux-Arts where he studied under Alexandre Cabanel and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.


He was later influenced by Georges Seurat whom he met in Paris in 1884. After Seurat encouraged him to join the Neo-Impressionists, he was also influenced by Paul Signac and Camille Pissarro. He adopted the pointillist technique until 1894 when he started to combine it with more feathery strokes.


Petitjean exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1891 and thereafter at Le Barc de Boutteville alongside the symbolists and impressionists. He also exhibited in Brussels in 1893 and 1898, Berlin in 1898, Weimar in 1903, and Wiesbaden in 1921.


From 1898 he earned a living as a drawing teacher for the Paris municipal council and soon moved back to a more traditional style, always at the service of allegorical and mythological scenes.


In 1910-12, he returned to Neo-Impressionism with a series of decorative watercolours of landscapes with widely-spaced rounded spots of pure colour.


He died in Paris, alone and destitute, on 17 September 1929



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Paintings in museum collections

-  See a more detailed listing on the page "Research"  -



Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nancy


Musée Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid


Musée des Ursulines, Mâcon.


Musée d'Orsay, Paris


Wallraf-Richartz-Museum et Fondation Courboud, Cologne


Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Illinois


Currier Gallery of Art, New Hampshire


Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana


Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York



Galerie Abels, Cologne, Allemagne, "Exposition Petitjean", 1959




Gérald Schurr et Pierre Cabanne, Dictionnaire des Petits Maîtres de la peinture 1820-1920, Éditions de l'Amateur, 2003 (ISBN 2-85917-378-1)


Jean Sutter, Les Néo-impressionnistes, Bibliothèque des Arts, Bibliothèque des Arts, Editions Ides et Calendes, Lausanne, 1970