Armand GUILLAUMIN , Impresssionnist
painter with intense colors, is famous for his landscapes of Paris,
Creuse and Esterel areas.
Born in Paris in a working-class family recently
emigrated from Moulins in Bourbonnais, where he spent
as a child his vacations, he started to work at the age of 15 in his
uncle's store in 1857, while attending evening drawing lessons.
In 1860 he was engaged as employee on the Paris-Orleans
railway line, while keeping on drawing during his free time, before
attending the Academy Suisse where he met Cezanne and
Pissarro, with whom he will all his
lifetime remain in narrow friendship.
After spending two years without working, since he could
not live from his painting, he will work from 1868 on, as a night
working employee in the Highways Department, in order to be
able to paint during day time.
Self-portrait with easel
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
At the beginning of the 1870s, he worked with Pissarro
in Pontoise, a village of farmers hardly affected by industrialization
where Pissarro had settled, sharing with him his love for landscapes
and making his Pissarro's style and carefully constructed pictorial
They then often visit Paul Gachet in Auvers,
a doctor practising medicine in Paris in a working district, who was
socialist, free-thinker, and a regular visitor of the Café
Guerbois just as Pissarro . Cézanne settled in Pontoise in
1872 to better follow the instructions of his mentor, Pissarro, then in
Auvers in 1873 where Dr. Gachet placed a housing at his disposal.
Cézanne made a portrait of Guillaumin entitled "Guillaumin at the
Hanged man", Cézanne, at that time, signing frequently his works
Sunset at Ivry
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Throughout his work with Pissarro, Guillaumin was to
develop his art of landscape painting, with
perspectives opened by winding paths, while also sometimes introducing
in his setting industry themes reminiscent of a certain romanticism.
Here volutes of smoke coming out of factory chimneys
stand out against an orange sunset just like triumphing flags.
Guillaumin formed part of the first group exhibition of the
Impressionists in 1874 and was to exhibit his works to most of the
ensuing shows, as well as to the Salon des Refusés.
Zola in his article "Naturalism at the Salon"
writes in 1880: : "[...] the true revolutionaries of the form appear
with Mr. Édouard Manet, with the Impressionists, Mr Claude Monet,
Renoir, Pissarro, Guillaumin,
and others too.
These painters intend to leave workshops in which
painters shut thelselves up since so many centuries, to go outdoor to
paint in open air, simple fact the consequences of which are
considerable. In plein-air, light is not unique any
more, and consequently multiple effects diversify and transform
radically the aspects of things and human beings. This study of light
effects [... ] is what one called more or less properly Impressionism,
because a painting consequently becomes an impression of one moment
felt in front of nature.
[... ] Mr Pissarro, Sisley, Guillaumin
went in the footsteps of Mr. Claude Monet[... ] and they endeavoured
painting pieces of nature around Paris under real sunlight, without
giving up in front of the most unforeseen effects of coloring.
The Seine river at Charenton
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Towards the end of the 1880s he became a friend
of Van Gogh, and some of his paintings were sold by
Théo Van Gogh.
Madness Ravine, Crozant
Petit Palais Museum, Geneva
In the 1890s, his painting was to become more
subjective, and he started using very expressive colors,
soon anticipating the Fauves.
In 1886 he married his cousin
Marie-Joséphine Charreton, a school teacher who will support him
In 1891 he gained at the National Lottery,
which consequently enabled him to concentrate on his painting and to
move regularly between Agay, Crozant and Saint-Palais-sur-Mer, as well
as travelling to Holland in 1903-04.
Guillaumin whose life was long since he died in
1927 at the age of 86 was the last survivor of the Impressionists
group, of whom he was one of the most faithful and fair member.