Armand Guillaumin 1841-1927

Biography

Jean Baptiste Armand Guillaumin (French 1841-1927) is one of the original members of the group of artists who started Impressionism, though he did not achieve the fame and repute of his contemporaries. The artist was born in Paris, and worked a series of odd jobs while honing his drawing skills in evening lessons. The lessons led Guillaumin to attend the Académie Suisse, where he met Camille Pissarro (French, 1830-1903) and Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906).

The artist showed several of his paintings at the 1863 Salon des Refusés. In the 1870s, unable to make a living as a painter, Guillaumin moved to Pontoise, a tiny village where he was able to find night work. This allowed him to paint during the day, using the natural light for which the Impressionists are so well known. Cézanne eventually joined the other artists in the village, and he and Guillaumin briefly took up residence together. It was during this period that they participated in the first ever Impressionist exhibition in 1874.

In the 1880s, the artist made the acquaintance of Vincent Van Gogh, (Dutch, 1853-1890) whose brother, Theo, would later help him to sell a few pieces. Perhaps due to the influence of Van Gogh's bold style, the following decade saw a shift in Guillaumin's use of colour, he began to use brighter and more expressive hues to define his compositions, almost in anticipation of the Fauve movement.

During this late period of his life, the artist traveled throughout France and Europe. Guillaumin died in 1927 at the age of 86 in Orly, Val-de-Marne, making him the last remaining survivor of the Impressionist group.

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