Armand Guillaumin was a French impressionist painter and lithographer. Born Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin in Paris, France, he worked at his uncle's lingerie shop while attending evening drawing lessons. In 1861 he studied at the Académie Suisse. This was the place where avant-garde artists met and tried new things. Here he met Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro with whom he maintained lifelong friendships.
Guillaumin exhibited in the first Salon des Refuses in 1863 together with Pissarro and Cézanne and in the following two years Renoir and Monet amongst others were added to their ranks. Even at this early stage in his career Guillaumin was considered an accomplished draughtsman using economic and dynamic strokes to execute remarkably mature compositions. He was quickly accepted into the circle of Zola and the directions in which Manet was taking art drove his interest.
In the mid to late 1870's Guillaumin's handling of the brush becomes lighter and more complex and his palette becomes more luminous in a move away from the style of Manet and Courbet. Both Cézanne and Guillaumin wished to create something solid out of impressionism, to create a sense of underlying form in nature. By 1880 the Impressionist group was beginning to fragment, particular camps forming around Degas and Pissarro with artists drawn to either side. Gauguin was becoming a particularly vocal member of the artistic society of that time and sided heavily with Pissarro, making every effort to include Guillaumin in his cause. Despite their initial misgivings, Renoir and Monet joined the Impressionist Exhibition of 1882 with Guillaumin, Gauguin and Pissarro (also included were Sisley, Morisot, Vignon and Caillebotte) but Degas was conspicuously absent.
By the time of the last Impressionist exhibition of 1886 Guillaumin was receiving some rapturous critical appraisal. Paul Adam wrote in La Revue Contemporaine that he "was not aware of any other painter who has so correctly noted the corresponding values of the lights of the firmament and of the ground. Their unification in colour appears to be perfect." In 1886-7 Guillaumin became a close friend of Vincent van Gogh who was to provide an interesting stimulus to Guillaumin's work. Vincent van Gogh greatly admired Guillaumin as an artist and a person and he regularly visited him in his studio in Paris.
The village Crozant and its surroundings were a favorite location of Guillaumin to paint and he spend a great amount of time here. Guillaumin often said: "It is possible that there exists in the world a place as beautiful as Crozant, but I do not believe there is one that is more beautiful". The dam of Génétin is a scene Guillaumin has captured often, painting it during the different seasons of year. In this painting Guillaumin beautifully used a deep color palette to depict fall with the leaves turning gold and brown and with a low standing sun shining upon them.
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