Guillaumin, Armand

Impressionism, the partakers of the expositions:

Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927)

the most colourful Impressionist


Was Armand Guillaumin an Impressionist?
Guillaumin is shortly mentioned in several books on Impressionism. Mostly as a side-figure related to Cézanne and Pissarro and as partaker of the ‘impressionist’ expositions. This is curious. Guillaumin was member of the initial group of the Société Anonyme des Artistes…. Castagnary included him in 1874 as 1 of the just 7 of the ‘new school’. Duret included him in his second edition of ‘les peintres impressionnistes’ as 1 of the just 7 impressionists. Guillaumin participated in 6 of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions which is more than Cézanne, Gauguin, Monet, Renoir and Sisley. At least in the last exposition he also had an active role (see). Studying at Académie Suisse, he met Cézanne and Pissarro, who both became close friends. Later on, he also got connected with other members of the ‘school of Pontoise‘ like Béliard, Gauguin, Piette and Vignon. This makes him a member of an important circle of friends. He also joined meetings at Café Guerbois and had an active role in the dinners at the restaurant of Murer. He also had connections with Caillebotte, Cordey, Degas, Franc-Lamy, Monet, Renoir and Sisley. Later on he was connected with Redon, Schuffenecker, Seurat, Signac and related artists like Dubois-Pillet, Hayez and Van Gogh. It was Guillaumin who connected several people to each other. Guillaumin participated in the large exhibition of French Impressionists organised by Durand-Ruel in New York in 1886 and in 1888 of Impressionists in Copenhagen. All this makes him a key figure within the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.
When we look at his painting style Guillaumin only wanted to paint en-plein-air. He often gives an indication of place and regularly an indication of time of day / season / weather. He rendered moments of daily live. Already in his earlier works around 1870 Guillaumin used blues and violets for rendering shadows and used juxtaposed brush strokes. Maybe his ‘soleil couchant à Ivry’ was the most vibrant and impressionist painting exhibited at the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874. Most particular is his use of bright, slightly unnatural colours. Guillaumin was one of the first who used a mature impressionist painting style and he continued using it all through his life. (On the other hand, Guillaumin was not consistent in it.)
I think it is righteous when Guillaumin is rehabilitated as one of the most important Impressionists. I hope the upcoming publication of the second volume of his catalogue raisonné (iR15;iR85) will attribute to this rehabilitation. As far as I know the last exhibition dedicated to Armand Guillaumin was in 2009 in a Paris gallery, exhibiting only 17 works (aR1) and the last publication is of 1996 (R179;iR24). I’m looking forward to new exhibitions and publications of this great Impressionist as part of his well earned rehabilitation. Especially also the forthcoming second volume of his catalogue raisonné.


Armand Guillaumin at the Salon:
Guillaumin never exhibited at the Salon. In 1861 Guillaumin was rejected at the Salon (R179,p14;aR4). Guillaumin also was rejected in 1863 and exhibited at the Salon des Refuses of 1863, but he was not in the catalogue (R124,p565;R179,p15;R8,p82;R9;R3;iR1;aR4). In 1873 he was rejected and exhibited 2 works at the Salon des Refuses (iR1), which is not mentioned by Serret & Fabiani (R124,p565). Krämer states that Guillaumin never admitted to the Salon (R21). Was it possible to join the Salon des Refuses without having admitted to the Salon? I don’t think so, so I assume Krämer was wrong.


Guillaumin joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions in 1874, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882 and 1886:
In December 1873 Guillaumin was part of the initial group of the Société Anonyme des Artistes…, but there seems to have been some opposition to his admission (R17,p331;R1,p313;R8,p9). Monet and Degas rejected his participation at the ‘impressionist’ expositions, they didn’t like his violent and screaming colours, Pissarro defended him (R3;R179,p31;R9). Also Renoir was not enthousiast about Guillaumin (and his anarchist ideas) (R6,p238;R6,p45;R179,p31). Paul Alexis (1873/05/12) already had mentioned him as 1 of 7(?) artists having ideas for an independent exhibition (R1,p309;R8,p205;R22,p104).
At the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874 Guillaumin showed 3 paintings (catalogue numbers 64-66) (R2,p120). Jules Castagnary (1874/04/29) included Guillaumin in ’the new school’ together with Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley (R87,p264;R17,p332;R90I,p16). De Montifaud mentioned the ‘vibration’ and ’the intensity’ of the colours (R90I,p30;R87,p267).
In 1876 Guillaumin did not participate, while his job had prevented him from doing much painting (R1,p366).
At the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877 Guillaumin showed 12 paintings (catalogue numbers 62-73) (R2,p205), 11 landscapes made south-west of Paris and 1 nude. La Petite Republique française (1877/04/10) reviewed that Guillaumin, among others, had submitted ‘several excellent pieces’ (R90I,p176). Just one work is shortly described, by most art-critics Guillaumin was neglected.
In 1879 Guillaumin again didn’t participate.
At the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1880 Guillaumin showed 22+4hc=26 works (catalogue numbers 63-84) (R2,p311/2). Except for his selfportrait (‘so many reds, greens, blues, violets and yellows’), his other works were hardly mentioned and described. Armand Silvestre (1880/04/24) reviewed ‘His colours have a hurtful roughness.’ (R90I,p307;R5,p119).
At the 6th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1881 Guillaumin showed 16 works (catalogue numbers 40-55) (R2,p354). Huysmans reviewed ‘Guillaumin, too, is a colourist, and what is more, a ferocious one. At first sight his canvases are a confusion of battling tones and rough contours, a cluster of vermilion and Prussian blue zebra stripes. Step back and blink and everything falls into place; the planes become steady, and the strident tones calm. The hostile colours reconcile themselves, and you are astonished by the unexpected delicacy of certains parts of these paintings.’ (R2,p365;R179,p29). Gustave Geffroy (1881/04/19) calls him ‘an overexcited colourist… he accumulates little spots of green, blue, pink, orange, lilac, violet, red, yellow… But these spots come together to confuse and erase everything. (…) In these landscapes it is always noon in July.’ (R2,p365;R90I,p342) Henry Trianon (1881/04/24) cals him ‘infatuated with the rough sketch. His touch is biting, and his palette seems tinted wit a prismatic sickness.’ (R2,p365). Armand Silvestre (1881/04/16) reviewed ‘I do not know what Mr. Guillaumin would have been without Mr. Monet, whom he is obviously proceeding from.’ (R90I,p366).
At the 7th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1882 Guillaumin showed 26 works (catalogue numbers 31-56) (R2,p394). Monet was opposed against the participation of Guillaumin, Gauguin and Vignon (R22,p175). Armand Sallanches (1882/03/03) calls his colours ‘upsetting’. Henri Rivière (1882/04/08) reviews: ‘He works with little multicoloured dots, all very close to each other. The colour is very disagreeable and the effect is absolutely false.’ (R2,p400;R90I,p409). Huysmans reviewed ‘his rainbow colours, which he lavished in the past, reappear in his portraits’  (R90I,p397). La Fare also mentioned his ‘rainbow colours’ (R90I,p401).
At the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886 Guillaumin showed 21 works (catalogue numbers 61-81) (R2,p444/5). In the preparations Guillaumin was active in including Redon, Schuffenecker, Seurat and Signac (see). Emile Hennequin (1886/06/19) reviewed: Of the colourists of rue Laffitte, Guillaumin is one of the most intense. (…) Mr. Guillaumin has a particular sensitivity to purple, almost red. ‘ (R90I,p454;R2,p459)’. La République Française (1886/05/17) reviews: ‘in the last room, Guillaumin makes violet colours reappear triumphantly in brilliant landscapes.’ (R2,p459). Gustave Geffroy (1886/05/26) reviews referring to his many paintings of Damiette ‘But is the painter sure he hasn’t betrayed the quiet village, for not turning it into a romantic village, full of fireworks that spurt out of his pallet, for not putting it into an atmosphere created by his eyes, an atmosphere where firecrackers explode, where the tubes of colour burst. (R90I,p450). Paul Adam (1886/04) reviewed ‘Mr. Guillaumin’s skies make up all his landscapes.’ and ‘Although Mr. Guillaumin still retains a certain tenderness for the blendson his palette, his colour still vibrates intensely.’ (R90I,p427/8). Henry Fèvre in La Revue de demain reviewed ‘Quite otherwise powerful in its sunny madness, in its congested colouration, Mr. Guillaumin’s painting is prismatic, everything shimmers, everything sweats with light.’  (R90I,p447). Fénéon (1886/06/13-20) calls him together with Gauguin and Morisot represents of Impressionism as exhibited at the previous exhibitions (R8,p331;R90I,p442/3). He calls him a ‘furious colourist’ (R90I,p443).
See link for an account. Most of the paintings Guillaumin exhibited were made in Paris and it’s surroundings in the Île-de-France, see also the locations where Guillaumin did paint. Note: Moffett (R2,p507) only renders 4 pictures of the 104 paintings Guillaumin exhibited at the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions. Berson just 15 (R90II).

Armand Guillaumin at other exhibitions:
In August 1875 Guillaumin joined the new artistic society ‘L’Union‘ formed by Meyer and Pissarro, but like others he didn’t join the exhibition starting 1877/02/15  (R1,p363+390;R179,p25;aR2). In 1884 he first joined the ‘Groupe des Artistes Indépendants’ and later the Salon des Indépendants in 1884+90+91 (R1,p503+510;R179,p32+46;R229;R3;aR4). In 1886 he is part of the Durand-Ruel exhibition of French impressionists in the USA with 7 landscapes (R1,p544;R4,p261;R179,p35;R3;aR3). 1888/05/01 Guillaumin had a first solo-exhibition in the building of La Revue Indépendante (R5,p162;R3;R21;aR3). In 1888 he exhibited with Pissarro and Van Gogh (aR3). 1888/10/30 Guillaumin joined an exhibition of Impressionists in Copenhagen (R5,p170). In 1891 he exhibited with ‘les XX‘ in Brussels, but hardly was noticed (R3;aR3;R179,p47). In 1894 + 1898 Guillaumin had solo exhibitions at Durand-Ruel; in 1894 with 64 paintings (54 were sold)  and 41 pastels (R21;aR4;R179,p54).
In 1897 Guillaumin exhibited just one time with the Société National des Beaux-Arts in Paris; he exhibited one litho (iR1). In 1920 he mentioned he was disappointed that he wasn’t chosen as a member (R179,p66). In 1898 he exhibited 2 litho’s in London. At the Salon d’Automne Guillaumin was a partaker from the start in 1903; from 1904-07 he also was a sociétaire, part of the commitee; from 1906-1908 he was ‘president de sections peinture’; in 1904 he exhibited 12 works, including 5 depicting Zaandam (R239;R179,p58). In 1906 and 1907 he exhibited at the Salon de l’Union artistique in Toulouse. Both times he exhibited 2 works; 3 works were offered at a price of 1000 francs and 1 for 800 (iR1). In 1926 there was a large retrospective of Guillaumin, with 112 works (R179,p70).
Later exhibitions were in Paris (1911+26+72), New York (1922 + 28 + 38), Geneva (1974 + 92); Clermont-Ferrand (1995); Lausanne (1996); Cologne (1996) (R179;iR24).


Armand Guillaumin as an artist, the early years:
From 1857-59 Guillaumin followed drawing lessons in the evenings with the sculptor Louis Denis Caillouette at the École Communales in the rue des Petits-Carreaux (R7,p250;R179,p14;iR4;R21;R3). He studied at the Académie Suisse. It is unclear when. Some say he started in 1860, others in 1864, most in 1861. All agree that he met Pissarro, Cézanne and Guillemet (and maybe also Piette and Courbet). He did so in the evenings and the early mornings besides a job at the railways with which he started in 1860 (R13,p303;R87,p238;R7,p250;R179,p14;R8,p52;aR4;R3;R9;R5,p19;R1,p62;R19,p37;R21;iR69). Guillaumin was influenced by Courbet (R8,p92). From 1867-68 Guillaumin painted together with Pissarro in the open and together they earn money by painting Sun blinds (R5,p49;R4,p144;R3;R6,p45;R1,p190;R179,p17+18). In the 1860’s he visits Café de Bade and and from about 1865  Café Guerbois (R3;R21;R33,p39;R17,p113;R179,p16) He would experiment with new artistic instruments and procédures (R8,p14). In 1869 Cézanne met Hortense Fiquet, who became his lover and then was a model of Guillaumin (R4,p61).  During the Franco-Prussian war in 1870/71 he stays in Paris, together with his friend Béliard (R3;R1,p258). The majority of his early works have been destroyed in the Paris Commune in 1871 (R179,p19;aR4;R21).


Armand Guillaumin was an important member of the school of Pontoise:
1872 onwards Guillaumin often stays with Dr. Gachet in Auvers-sur-Oise and visits Cézanne in Auvers and Pissarro in Pontoise (R87,p238;R5,p78;R17,p204;R179,p20;R9;R3;R21). At Gachets’ house they also did experiment with etching; Guillaumin made an etch portrait of Cézanne (R5,p78;R8,p219;R9;R179,p21). Gachet would collect works of Guillaumin (R17,p336) and also lent him money (R179,p24). Guillaumin was part of the school of Pontoise, together with  Béliard, Cézanne, Gauguin, Pissarro and Vignon (R17,p178/9;R1,p292). Still there are not many works known that were made in the surroundings of Pontoise. Serret & Fabiani don’t mention it at all in their overview (R124,p561/2). Sometimes it is hard to discern who painted a work because of the similarities (R17,p190). Several sources state that in 1875 (and 1876) Guillaumin and Cézanne were neighbours on the Quai d’Anjou; they work closely together and paint the same motives; Cézanne also would copy a work of Guillaumin (R8,260/1;R1,p356;R5,p91;R4,p144). More sure is that in 1874+75 Cézanne lived at 120, Rue de Vaugirard in Paris, the same address Guillaumin used in 1874, probably because he shared Cézanne his studio (R2,p120;R48;R179,p24;R3;iR70). Probably Cézanne also joined Guillaumin in his studio on the Quai d’Anjou no.13 (R179,p24). In around 1885 the studio of Guillaumin was a meeting point for the circle of friends of the school of Pontoise (R179,p33). Maybe Cézanne didn’t live on 15, Quai d’Anjou, but only had a studio there. When they became neighbours is not clear. Gray writes that Cézanne left this studio in 1890 (R179,p33+47). But, sources on Cézanne don’t confirm this. Anyway, Cézanne and Guillaumin were friends (R6,p46+180; R4,p61;R1,p296). And Guillaumin also maintained a particularly close friendship with Pissarro (R17,p204). Pissarro probably introduced Guillaumin to Antonin Personnaz, who would buy several of his works (R179,p25). Through Pissarro Gauguin made acquaintance with Guillaumin and bought some of his works (R1,p410;R8,p331;iR69). In Marz 1883 the three spent time together (R179,p32).


Armand Guillaumin had several contacts with the other Impressionists:
Guillaumin introduced his old schoolfriend from Moulins and now art-collector Murer to Pissarro and Renoir. Murer also owned a restaurant and around 1877/78 on Wednesdays  artists came together for diner, notably Guillaumin, Renoir and Sisley and occasionally Cézanne, Cordey, Franc-Lamy, Monet and Pissarro (R1,p413/4;R8,p219;R7,143;R179,p21). Murer lended him money and bought several works from Guillaumin; at an auction of his collection in June 1884 several works of Guillaumin were included (R5,p140) and 1887/10/21 he owned 22 works of Guillaumin  (R179,p24+42). In the 1870s Guillaumin had (allmost) no time to visit Café Nouvelle-Athènes (R1,p399).
Rewald included Guillaumin with Gauguin, Morisot, Pissarro and Vignon opposing Degas and his associates in the ‘impressionist’ expositions of 1880 + 81 + 86 (R1,p441+449+526). 1881/01/24 Caillebotte, opposing Degas in a letter to Pissarro, included Guillaumin as one who contributed something substantial (to the expositions) (R5,p127;R1,p448). Guillaumin in the preparations of the 7th exposition in 1882 was opposed to Raffaëlli and sighed: each year another impressionist has left and been replaced by nullities and pupils of the Ecole’ (R1,p465). Guillaumin owned a little work of Caillebotte made in the early 1880s (R101,CR350).


Armand Guillaumin was a bridge figure to the Neo-Impressionists:
Guillaumin met Signac in 1884 and helped and adviced him, with the result that Signacs works became more vibrant, using forceful colours (R1,p503;R39,p299+5+55;R3;R16;R21;aR1;iR69;iR70). Signac also bought some of his works (R39,p55) and later (1888/02/09) would describe his painting style as ’triumphant brushstrokes and wild colorations’ (R39,p68). Around 1883/84 he admired Guillaumin most, later on he would call it an infatuation and will call his pictures shallow, showy and gaudy, suffering from a lack of harmony (R39,p69+73;R179,p32). In the Summer or September of 1885 Pissarro will meet Signac in the studio of Guillaumin and later in October Seurat (according to other sources this was at Durand-Ruel) (R5,p144;R1,p511;R179,p32;R8,p298;R39,p6+55+101;R37,p53). Guillaumin also introduced Seurat to the Durand-Ruel Galleries (R1,p511). While being in Copenhagen (1884/5) Gauguin corresponded with Guillaumin (R37,p47). In a lettre 1885/01/30 Gauguin pleads to Pissarro to include Guillaumin to their monthly gatherings / dinners (R1,p493;R179,p32). Guillaumin also was acquainted with Schuffenecker (iR70), December 1888 Schuffenecker wrote he saw no one else than Guillaumin (R179,p44). Guillaumin (and Schuffenecker) could not convince Gauguin to join the Salon des Indépendants in 1885 and 1886 (R1,p514+532). But Rossen writes Guillaumin didn’t participate in 1886 either, which is confirmed by Serret & Fabiani (R37,p61;R124,p565).


Armand Guillaumin influenced Van Gogh and the Fauve:
Guillaumin may be considered a forerunner of Fauvism (aR1). Huysmans (1883) called him a ‘ferocious colouriste’ using ‘battle tones’ (R2,p365;R90I,p351;R16;R9). Durand-Ruel already in 1886 called his paintings ‘fauvistic’ (R179,p37). He used unconventional colour combinations that almost curse with each other (R16). From 1886-88 Guillaumin was the Impressionist with the closest connections to Vincent van Gogh (R179,p35/36). With Van Gogh he shared the idea of a studio in the tradition of mediaval workshops (R6,p213;R1,p550;R39,p74;R21;iR3). Van Gogh appreciated his lively colours and maybe was more influenced by Guillaumin than by Signac in his shift to brilliant colour (iR4;aR1;R179,p43). Strangly, Walther in his extensive book on Van Gogh doesn’t mention Guillaumin at all (R70). Besides Van Gogh, Guillaumin also had influence on Matisse (R8,p37;aR1) and inspired the fauvist Othon Friesz (iR4;aR3). In his later years Henri Lebasque also became his friend (R179,p68), who portrayed his wife in around 1910 (see below).


Armand Guillaumin, from poverty to independance:
In a sense we can see Guillaumin as an amateur painter. Untill 1892 he did his painting alongside a job. In 1857 Guillaumin moved to Paris to live and work with his uncle Bernard, 10, Chaussée d’Antin (R179,p13;R7,p249). Later he would work at another shop in the Rue Sentier (R179,p14). In 1860 he started to work for the Paris-Orléans railway company and after a year or so at the ‘Compagnie d’Orléans’ (R179,p14). Probably in 1867 and 1868 together with Pissarro  they earned money by painting sun-blinds (R5,p49;R4,p144;R3;R6,p45;R1,p190;R179,p17+18). At the end of 1868 Guillaumin worked 3 nights at a Bridges and roads department; he had to dug up and transport away faeces laying in the drains (R179,p18;R4,p144). He did so he could paint during the day; he was extremely poor (R4,p144;R1,p173;R21;aR2). More than once Père Tanguy, Gachet, Murer , Gauguin and others lended him money and/or supported him by buying his paintings (R179,p24+42;R1,p410;R33,p62). Around 1879 his income increased by painting portraits (R179,p28). Rewald even writes that in 1880 Guillaumin, among others, was not depended on sales (R1,p434). 1887/01/10 Guillaumin married his niece Marie-Joséphine Gareton (aR4;R3;iR4). Since 1885 she was a teacher at a Gymnasium in Paris, she would work there till 1919, when she reached her pension (R179,p41+64). Her income, him becoming overseer and sales made by Portier, Nuìes (and Théo van Gogh), improved his financial situation (R179,p41). (Note: In 1891 Boussod complains that Theo van Gogh had bought unsellable works of Guillaumin and others (R1,p560;iR3). Probably Durand-Ruel also supported his financial situation. In 1886 he exhibited 7 works of Guillaumin in New York (R1,p544;R4,p261;R179,p35;R3;aR3). In 1894 he exhibited 64 paintings and 41 pastels. In 1888 and 1898 he also held solo exhibitions with works of Guillaumin (R21;aR4;R179,p54;R5,p162;R3;aR3). I found 50 oil paintings that once were part of the Durand-Ruel exhibition. So, through the years Durand-Ruel bought a substantial number of Guillaumin’s works. Already in 1889 Guillaumin travelled to Agay at the Côte d’Azur (R124,p561), apparently having enough money for such a trip.
But, the real years of independance began when Guillaumin won a lottery in 1891. He received 100.000 francs and became financially independent (note: a skilled worker earned about 1750 francs a year). In 1892 he quits his job and he starts to paint fulltime. (R179,p49;R1,p566;R7,p256;R9;R3;R21). After 1892 Guillaumin developed a year rithm of dwelling early in the year in Agay, the early summer in Crozant, late summer in Saint-Palais-sur-Mer, the autumn again in Crozant and the winter in Paris (R179,p49), see also locations. Some add travels to Brittany, Normandie and Dauphiné (R87,p238;R3;R9). In Crozant he becomes the leader of the ‘École de Crozant’ (iR3). Clémentine Ballot (born Leroi) becomes his pupil (R179,p61). In 1895, he rented a house called ‘Les Granges’, before that he stayed in Hôtel Lépinat at the church square in Crozant (R179,p55). (Note: other sources say he rented this house since 1893 (aR3;R3,iR9;iR4).
In 1891 Guillaumin had lost many friends. Some had died (Seurat, Vincent and Théo van Gogh, Dubois-Pillet); the friendship with Gauguin  had ended; Pissarro had moved to Éragny-sur-Epte, Monet to Giverny and Cézanne to Aix-en-Provence (R179,p47;R1,p566).


Armand Guillaumin his painting style:
Guillaumin dated not much of his works, so it is hard to discern a development (R179,p33+56). I only could find 65 oil paintings that are dated on the canvas or on the back (according to info of auction sites). It is interesting to know why he dated works. Because he sold or exhibited these works? For my observation I use pictures from books and the internet. Sometimes the difference in colour between a same picture is large. Are the colours made more bright or more subdued? Have they faded through the years?
What I see is that in some pictures Guillaumin was ahead of his fellow Impressionists. When we look at CR5 (see above), than it is much more colourfull than the Magpie of Monet from the same year (1869, CR133). The same applies when we compare the snow and the sky in CR43 (1871-73ca; see below) and Sisley’s Snoweffect from 1874 (CR147). Guillaumin’s streetscene from 1870 (see above) also is much more colourfull than streetscenes made by his fellow Impressionists. It will take years before his colleagues also will use violets for their shades. When we look at Guillaumin’s ‘Seine at Bercy’ (dated 1867-68ca; see below), then he already used juxtaposed brushstrokes for the water. Something Monet and Renoir would first do in La Grénouillère in September 1869.
What I also see is that Guillaumin was not consequent in this impressionist painting style. Compare for example the streetscene from 1870 with that of 1876ca in Pontoise (see above). Compare also two works from 1875 (see above). In the ‘Seine at Charenton’ Guillaumin used juxtaposed brushstrokes and slightly unnatural colours, like the green in the face of the woman (something Matisse would do only in 1905). In ‘Le Pont Louis Philippe’ Guillaumin his brushstroke is much more smooth and his colours more greyish. These are two examples from many.
In his later years notably is that Guillaumin his brushstroke is more than ones more rough and his use of colour more screamy. In the titles of his works an indication of location is often present. When he dated his works he sometimes also indicated the month and the time of day. But the notification of atmospherical influences like season and wheater are less present in the titles. The effect of sunlight in his (later) works also is less prominent.

Let’s see what our sources say about the painting style of Guillaumin. We already saw that in the contemporary reviews his use of bold colours is often mentioned (see above and at the account). In the late 1860s Guillaumin was more colouristically daring than his colleagues; his colours were more saturated (aR1). In the 1870s his brushstroke became more refined and he continued to do so in the 1880s (R179,p26+35). He adjusted his brushstroke to his subject and sometimes used a staccato brushstroke (in the late 1880s) (R179,p45). Spiess claims that in his painting (together with Cézanne and Pissarro) he laid emphasize on construction by using firm and carrying elements and stable volumes (R16). In the 1870s he used different colour values to render form, but wouldn’t use this method, inspired by Cézanne, afterwards (R179,p26+29). Around the mid 1880s one can recognize a careful structuring of the image (R179,p34). Still, Rewald calls him ‘forceful in colour’ and ‘weak in construction’ (R1,p566).
After 1892 Guillaumin repeated the same motives, what caused a certain monotonicity. He simplified his forms and his colours. His brushstroke contributed to the preservation of the structure of the forms and became shorter. He mostly painted in the early mornings and the late afternoon. (R179,p49+50+52+54+56+60+61). Arsène Alexandre wrote in 1894: he simplifies and enlarges elements that first impressed him. (R179,p54). Since the 1890s his colour palette had gradually become lighter and brighter (R179,p63). After 1916, Guillaumin’s colouring became increasingly delicate (R179,p62). In the 1920s the broken, impressionist brushstrokes are absent (R179,p69). André Fontainas mentioned in 1922 his ‘disturbing finesse’ (R179,p69).
Guillaumin seeked to present the effects of the weather and the changing light (R94,p50), the phenomena of colour and light (R179,p26+69). His winter landscapes are more subtile and delicate (R9). Others summarise that he painted in an energetic style, with lively colours, full of contrast and with a broad brush stroke (R3;R16). 
Guillaumin tried to render moments of daily live (R16). In his early years Guillaumin painted almost solely landscapes made in Paris and it’s surroundings, also called Île-de-France (R3). As an anarchist / socialist he is attracted to the sadness and poverty of the deserted suburbs (R9;R4,p144;R17,p35). He also depicts industrial sites and modern infrastructure (along the Seine), themes that were not beloved by buyers (R94,p50;aR1). He also depicted ordinary rural life (R17,p36).
Guillaumin always painted en-plein-air and refused to paint ‘one brush stroke outside of nature’ (R16). In the early winter mornings he covered himself with paper pages to cover him from the wind and the cold (R179,p61). Still, he made studies in his studio, for example of a sand sifter made around 1880, which he reused in several paintings (R179,p28). In the 1890s probably Guillaumin didn’t rework his paintings in a studio, many stayed unfinished. (R179,p52). Still, in a letter written in 1920, he wrote about finishing landscapes from last year (R179,p66). But maybe he did so in the open, because he waited for the same season (R179,p72). In 1921 he wrote about making 3 or 4 pastel studies of a moon landscape (R179,p68). At the end of the 1880s Guillaumin (and Monet) used a less realistic interpretation of nature and a more poetic, subjective, personal expression of the impression the landscape gave them (R179,p38/39). Still, Guillaumin himself wrote in 1920: ‘I see nature as it is. I do not approach it idealistically…’ (R179,p66).
Some sources don’t see Guillaumin fully as an Impressionist. He didn’t use the impressionist technique of half colours (R16). He used a broader brushstrokes than most Impressionists (R13,p303;R7,p255). Rubin emphasizes that Guillaumin retained a far more marked sense of line than the other Impressionists (aR1). He used rough contours (R9). Some even claim he didn’t adopt the impressionist technique (R9). Pool calls him a side-figure among the Impressionists (R6,p45). Still, Belloli calls him a ‘charter member of the group’ (R17,p204). Rubin calls him a significant member of the Impressionist group (aR1). Others call him a full member of the inner circle (aR2) and the most long living Impressionist and the most consistent (R8,p37). His biographer, Edouard des Courières stated in 1924 that only Guillaumin, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro and Sisley deserve to be called Impressionists (R179,p70).
Guillaumin his main topic were landscapes. Still, he also did several portraits and some still-lives. In 1873 Guillaumin did some etching together with Cézanne and Gachet (R179,p21). In 1896 he made several litho’s (R179,p57).
Guillaumin didn’t like to be watched while painting. He had strict habits. He didn’t visit the church (in Crozant). He had a harsh nature. (R179,p60+59). 


Armand Guillaumin, a short biography:

  • 1841/02/16: Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin was born in Paris, 10, Rue de Rivoli (R179,p13;aR4;R7,p249;iR24;iR3;R3;R9). His mother came from Pontgibaud (Puy-de-Dôme). He had an elder brother Charles. Maurice was born in 1845 and Marie in 1849. (R179,p13)
  • Around 1844 the family moved to Moulins (Allier) (R179,p13;R7,p249), about 300km south(-east) of Paris (iR9)
  • during his school years contact with Eugène Meunier (or: Murer), the later art-collector who supported the Impressionists (R179,p13;R3;R17,p335;aR3).
  • 1857: Guillaumin moved to Paris to live and work with his uncle Bernard, 10, Chaussée d’Antin (R179,p13;R7,p249).
  • 1871: most of Guillaumin’s early works were destroyed in the Paris Commune (R179,p19)
  • 1873: Guillaumin lived at 13, Quai d’Anjou, Île Saint-Louis, Paris (iR1) or at least rented the old studio of Daubigny, here he would work together with Cézanne, who would rent a studio at no. 15 untill 1890 (R179,p24+33+34+47)
  • Around 1874: Guillaumin lived or often stayed with his mother at 2, Bouleverd Bineau, Levallois-Perret (just west of Paris), where Cézanne frequently visited him (R179,p24)
  • 1874, Spring: Guillaumin his address was rendered as 120, rue de Vaugirard, 6th arrondissement, Paris; probably because he shared Cézanne his studio (R2,p120;R48;R179,p24;R3;iR1;R2;iR70).
  • 1877: Guillaumin again gave as his address 13, Quai d’Anjou (Île-Saint-Louis), Paris (iR1;R2), see 1873.
  • 1880+81: Guillaumin lived at 73, rue de Buffon, 5th arrondissement, Paris (iR1;R2)
  • 1882+86+87: Guillaumin again lived at 13, Quai d’Anjou (Île-Saint-Louis), Paris (iR1;R2;R179,p42), see 1873. 
  • 1887/01/10: married his niece Marie-Joséphine Gareton (or: Charreton) (aR4;R3;iR4), her family came from the Creuse Department (R179,p41). Degas and Gauguin were witnesses (iR4;aR4). Already in 1871 Guillaumin made a portrait of her (R179,p20;iR10;iR13). She was 17 years younger than him (R179,p20).
  • around 1888 he moved to 19, Rue Servandoni (R179,p42)
  • 1888/10/14: his daughter Madeleine was born (aR4;iR4;R179,p44)
  • 1891/08/26: his son Armand was born, he was also called Chabrol (aR4;iR4;R179,p49)
  • 1893/02/25: His daughter Marguerite was born (aR4;iR4;R179,p54)
  • 1896/03/22: his son André was born (aR4;iR4)
  • 1896: Ambroise Vollard published a suite of his lithographs (iR70;R179,p57)
  • 1897: Guillaumin lived at 20bis, rue Saint-Benoît, 6th arrondissement, Paris (iR1)
  • 1898: in the Dreyfus affair Guillaumin took a neutral position (R179,p57)
  • 1904: Guillaumin lived at 8, rue de l’Abbé-de-l’Epée, 5th arrondissement, Paris (iR1)
  • 1911/12/07: appointed Chevallier d’Honneur (R179,p59)
  • 1924: Edouard des Courières published his biography on Guillaumin (R179,p70).
  • 1926: Georges Lecomte published a Monography on Guillaumin (R179,p70).
  • 1927/06/26: Guillaumin died (at the Château de Grignon near Orly, region Val-de-Marne, 20km south-east of Paris, being 86 years old (R179,p71;aR3;aR4;R21;iR4;R1,p586) Some sources state that he died in October (R9;R5,p240) and other sources that he died in Paris 1927/06/26 (R13,p303;iR24;iR3;iR4).


My main sources are Budde (1996=R179), the catalogue raisonné (=CR) of Serret & Fabiani (1971=R124) and Adler (1988=R89). Other main sources are Rewald (R1), Moffett (1986=R2), Walther (R3,p667), Denvir (R5+R8), Pool (R6), Duret (R7), Schurr&Cabanne (R9,p355/6), Kostenevich (R15,p138), Spiess (R16,p160-2), Belloli (R17), Krämer (R21,p278/9), Rossen (R37), Ferretti-Bocquillon (R39), Berson (1996=R90), Grimne (R94,p50), the Salon database (iR1), Wikipedia (iR3;iR4), RKD (iR24), Bénézit (iR69), Groove (iR70). For 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. My main sources for the pictures are the-athenaeum (iR2; >590 works), Wikimedia (iR6;88 works), Google Art (iR8;11 works), Google Images (iR10), Mutualart (iR11;980x), Sotheby’s (iR14), Christies (iR15), WGI (iR22;50x), Joconde (iR23;71x), In books there are some pictures to be found: Rewald (R1,7x), Moffett (R2,4x), Walther (R3,10x), Denvir (R5,2x;R8,7x), Pool (R6,1x), Schurr&Cabanne (R9,1x), Kostenevich (R15,1x), Spiess (R16,x2), Belloli (R17,3x), Berson (R90II,15x). See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
Fur further reading:
Serret, G. & D. Fabiani: Armand Guillaumin, catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint. Paris, 1971 (R124)
The Comité Guillaumin (Dominique Fabiani, Stéphanie Chardeau-Botteri, Jacques de la Béraudière):  forthcoming second volume of the Guillaumin catalogue raisonné (iR15;iR14).
Alexandre, A.: preface to the Durand-Ruel exhibition. Paris, 1924 (iR70).
Courières, Edouard: Armand Guillaumin. Paris, 1924. (iR24)
Lecomte, G. (?): Peintures et pastels de A. Guillaumin; exhibition catalogue. Paris, 1926. (iR24;iR69;iR70)
Gachet, P: Lettres impressionnistes au Dr. Gachet et à Murer. Paris, 1957 (iR70).
Cailler, Pierre: Armand Guillaumin. Geneva, 1964 (iR69).
Tralbaut, Marc-Edo: (Père) Armand Guillaumin en famille et au motif. Antwerp, 1971 (iR69)
Gray, Christopher: Armand Guillaumin. Chester, 1972.
Armand Guillaumin: l’impressionniste, ami de Cézanne et de Van Gogh, 1841-1927; exhibition catalogue. Musée de Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Clermont-Ferrand, 1995. (iR24)
Armand Guillaumin, 1841-1927; un maître de l’impressionnisme français; exhibition catalogue. Lausanne, 1996 (iR24)
Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927); Vom Spiel der Farbe; ein vergessener Impressionist; exhibition catalogue. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, 1996. (iR24)
In dictionaires: Bénézit, 1976, Vol.5,p.293-5 (R75); Bénézit, 1999, vol.6, p569-572 (R76); Busse, 1977, p518 (R77); Witt, 1978, p124 (R78); Thieme & Becker, 1922, vol.15, p303 (R79); Vollmer, 1953-62, vol.5, p549 (R80); Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, 1999-2000, vol.4, p440 (R81). (iR24)
Henkels, H.: Cézanne en Van Gogh in het Rijksmuseum voor Moderne Kunst in Amsterdam; de collectie van Cornelis Hoogendijk. Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 41 (1993), p.155-295. (iR24)
Benotto, Angela, Laura Carrara & Giulia Zanasi: L’impressionismo di Armand Guillaumin. Exhibition catalogue, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, 2003/10/24 – 2004/02/01. Milano, 2003.
Ankele, Denise & Daniel: Armand Guillaumin; 120+ impressionist paintings. Digital book, 2011. (iR132)

Additional references (=aRx):

  1. (article of James H. Rubin exhibition review of Armand Guillaumin, Spring 2010)
  2. vanished French Impressionists 6 (an article on the eclecticlight website about Guillaumin; =iR35)
  3. (article and paintings)
  4. (biography of Guillaumin)
  5. (>433 works; pictures with restricted texts; only titles, no additional info; pages with irritating pop-ups and advertisements)
  6. (references to other documents like works, articles and exhibitions;=iR19)
  7. 1 (497 pictures in a slide show, 6 seconds a picture, by, 50.04min, no info on the pictures; subscription with a small biography )
  8. 2 (a collection of paintings in a slide show, 19 seconds a picture by Mater painters, 25.50min, no info on the pictures)
  9. 3 (a collection of paintings in a slide show (claiming to be all the paintings), 9 seconds a picture by 1st-art-gallery (=iR154), 5.07min, with titles)
  10. 4 (a collection of paintings in a slide show, 6 seconds a picture by Tuen Tony Kwok, 23.30min, no info on the pictures)
  11. 5 (a collection of paintings in a slide show, 6 seconds a picture by Aurelio Salvador, 7.22min, with titles)
  12. 6 (a collection of paintings in a slide show, 15 seconds a picture by ACJ Art Academie, 10.45min, with titles and starting with a biography and ending with info on related artists)
  13. “Armand Guillaumin.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Mar 3, 2021.  =iR261; overview of contributions of Guillaumin in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915
  14. James H. Rubin, exhibition review of “Armand Guillaumin (1841–1927),” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 9, no. 1 (Spring 2010), (accessed February 15, 2022). (=iR348)
  15. x



Recommanded citation: “Armand Guillaumin, the most colourful Impressionist. Last modified 2022/02/25.”