Jean-Baptiste-Armand Guillaumin was born on 16 February 1841, in Paris, though he would spend much of his childhood in Moulins. He was sent to Paris to study business, though he would enrol at the Académie Suisse in 1861, where he would meet and become close with Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. He exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. Guillaumin would paint in his spare time, meanwhile working as a painter of blinds in the early 1960s and then as a government official in the Ministry of Public Affairs from 1868. Guillaumin’s early work was similar in style and immediacy to Édouard Manet’s.
Guillaumin exhibited at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1974, and five of the subsequent seven exhibitions (1877, 1880, 1881, 1882, and 1886). By this stage, his work, which included views of Montmartre, Meudon, and the Seine, reflected his association with the Impressionist circle in subject and style, though with noticeably vivid colour. In 1886, he met Vincent Van Gogh, and sold some of his work through his brother, Theo.
In 1887, Guillaumin discovered the town of Le Creuse, where he would settle. He would continue to work for the government until 1892, when he was able to dedicate himself to painting having won 100,000 francs in the lottery the year before. Guillaumin would continue to paint in an Impressionist style, with green and purple tones becoming more dominant in his palette after his move to Le Creuse. He was anointed the leader of the École de Crozant, a diverse group of painters who would focus on depicting the village of Crozant and the surrounding landscape of the Creuse region. During the latter decades of his life, he travelled around France, regularly visiting Sain-Palais-sur-Mer, Agay, Brittany, and the Auvergne, and visited the Netherlands in 1904. Guillaumin died on 26 June 1927, in Orly, Val-de-Marne.
Guillaumin’s work can be found in the following selected international collections: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen; Neue Pinakothek, Munich; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Tate Collection, London.
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