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 Guillaumin, Armand (French painter, 1841-1927) , The Environs of Paris

Core Record

Title The Environs of Paris
Original Translation Route de Clamart à Issy
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Guillaumin, Armand (French painter, 1841-1927)
Date Earliest about 1874
Date Latest about 1874
Signed yes
Description The views chosen by the Impressionist painters were far from conventionally picturesque. This scene on the outskirts of Paris demonstrates their fascination with modern life and the newly emerging hinterland that is neither 'town' or 'country'. Guillaumin shows a newly built road flanked by saplings in a semi-urban area on the outskirts of Paris which was changing rapidly in the wake of industrialisation. The motif of a road leading into the distance was a popular one with the Impressionists in the 1870s. Guillaumin is one of the less well known Impressionists. Until he won 100,000 francs on the French lottery in 1891, he could only paint in his spare time from his job as a minor official in the bridge and road administration. He was a friend of Camille Pissarro whose style in the early 1870s his most closely approaches. This painting was included in the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877.
Current Accession Number 1958P19
Former Accession Number P.19´58
Inscription front lr 'A Guillaumin' (AG in monogram)
Subject landscape
Measurements 60.8 x 100.2 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Friends of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery from the bequest of Miss Alice Gertrude Cole 1958.
Provenance Arthur Tooth & Sons, 1958.
Principal Exhibitions Exposition de Peinture, rue le Peletier, Paris, 1877, cat. no. 63 as Route de Clamart à Issy (;); Recent Acquisitions XII, Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, 1957, cat. no. 4; Primitives to Picasso, Royal Academy, London, 1962, cat. no. 234; A Day in the Country: Impressionism and the French Landscape, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, 1984, cat. no. 52; The Impressionist, Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1974; French Impressionism: Treasures of the Midlands, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1991, p.16; Landscapes of France: Impressionism and its Rivals, Hayward Gallery, 1995, cat. no. 74; La nascita dell'impressionismo, Treviso, 2000, cat. no. 118; The Road to Impressionism, Bowes Museum, 2002, no cat. no., p. 36.
Publications Venturi, A., Les Archives d'Impressionisme, II, 1939, p. 260; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1930; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 78, ill.
Notes A letter from Mlle. M. Guillaumin, the artist's daughter, in the Gallery archives confirms the dating for this picture on grounds of style and method of signature. She thought that this may be the painting exhibited in the 3rd Impressionist Exhibition in 1877 but that it would be impossible to know for certain.

The identification of the site of this painting has proved elusive. However, it has been suggested that a comparison with Sisley's Road to Verrières (1872, Private Collection) might be helpful. Verrières-le-Buisson, near Igny, is thirteen kilometers southwest of Paris and four kilometers southwest of Sceaux in the forest of Verrières. However, as Sisley's painting depicts a road to that town, it could be anywhere in the region in which he painted - at Versailles, Sèvres, Meudon, or Ville-d'Avray. The building silhouetted on the far left horizon may be the gilded dome of the Invalides. If so, the view must be from one of the hills to the south or south west of the city.

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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