A French artist of great importance who exhibited in the first French Impressionist Exhibition in 1874 with views of Charenton which at once marked him as a painter of special talent and originality.  Included in this first exhibition were Renoir, Boudin, Cézanne, Degas, Monet and Sisley, among others, and as was often the case these artists shared the Bohemian hardships.  Armand Guillaumin was born in 1841 in Paris and studied at the Academy Suisse with Pissarro and Cezanne.  In 1891 by sheer good fortune, Armand Guillaumin won 100,000 francs in a state lottery enabling him to devote all of his energies to painting vigorous landscapes in various regions freely at his choice.

In the early 1870’s Guillaumin was painting many more explicit images of factories in the outskirts of Paris and at this time he also painted pure landscapes depicting the natural beauty and unspoiled scenery.  These industrial subjects are a very important and obviously original and progressive part of his work showing him to be a sure methodical and coloristically daring painter of themes that parallel to Pizarro’s work of the same period.

Important among his works are landscapes from Belle Ile off the coast of Brittany noted for its beautiful scenery which was often frequented by other Impressionists including Claude Monet, Paul Gaugin, and John Peter Russell, where this superb example of his work was executed circa 1887.  It is interesting to note that Cezanne and Van Gogh looked to Guillaumin as both loyal companion and painting partner in forays to the suburban countryside.

In 1886, shortly after Van Gogh’s arrival in Paris in March, Guillaumin’s work was recognized by a powerful new art critical voice.  Responses to his work had always emphasized his color, but Felix Feneon dramatized the reputation of this “coloriste furieux” with exceptional rhetorical skill: “Here we are before the Guillaumins.  Immense skies, overheated skies, where clouds push one another back and forth in a battle of greens, purples, mauves and yellows; others are set in twilight, where the huge amorphous mass of vaporous cloud pushes up from a low horizon swept by crosswinds.  Under these weighty and sumptuous skies, huddle violet countrysides, painted with broad impasto, where laborers and grazing alternate.  The trees cringe . . . . “

This important painting depicts a landscape with gorgeous bold colored skies which include pinks and violets as well as an azure sky with puffy clouds.  There is a quality and confidence of his technique that is on par with Claude Monet and Paul Auguste Renior. This superb example of his work is highly important not just because of depicting his originality of subject matter from 1880 but because of its intense luminosity with a density, crispness and sharpness that shimmer in rich greens, oranges and violets.  This painting touches on the characteristics that appeal to both Cezanne and Van Gogh.

Guillaumin’s work may be seen at museums including the Louvre Museum, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, Musee Van Gogh in Amsterdam, the Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, the Museum of Luxembourg, the Birmingham City Art Museum, etc.

This highly important example of Guillaumin’s work from the 1880’s is extremely rare and highly sought after by both museums and collectors alike.  This painting is presented in excellent condition in its original period frame and is signed by the artist.

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1841 – 1927

Title:    “Paysage Belle Ile”

Date:    circa 1887

Framed Size:   Height 41 1/2 inches   Width 49 inches (framed)

Canvas Size:  Height 34 inches    Width 42 inches