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Title Les Pommiers à Damiette
Collection Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums
Artist Guillaumin, Armand (French painter, 1841-1927)
Date 1893
Signed yes
Description

The emphasis in this landscape painting is upon the apple trees in the foreground. The bright colours, energetic brushstroke and rhythmic flow of the trees and grass recall the work of Vincent Van Gogh, a close friend of Guillaumin from 1887 until his death in 1890. This strong sense of rhythmic flow carries across the entire composition; from upper right to lower left, accentuated by the distorted tree trunks curving in a similar direction. The shadows created by the largest tree, painted in acid green and vivid lilac, form an intricate lace-like design across the ground, increasing the overall effect of layered pattern.

Current Accession Number ABDAG002355
Former Accession Number 51.1
Inscription front ll 'Guillaumin'
Subject landscape
Measurements 100.0 x 116.5 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased 1951 with income from the Webster Bequest.
Provenance Redfern Gallery
Principal Exhibitions Rue de Seine, Galerie Rousso, Paris, 1950; Redfern Gallery, 1951; Collecting Impressionism: Impressionist Paintings From European Museums, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 1999, Seattle Art Museum, 1999, Denver Art Museum, 1999; A Scottish Collection - Treasures from Aberdeen Art Gallery Nagasaki (touring), 2000-2001, cat. no. 53.
Publications Serret, G., et Fabiani, D., Catalogue Raisonnée of Guillaumin's Paintings, Paris, 1970, cat. no. 246 (measurements incorrect if this is the same painting; Dumas, A & Shapiro, M, eds., Impressionism: Paintings Collected by European Museums, Abrams, 1999, pp. 156-7; A Scottish Collection - Treaures from Aberdeen Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2000, pp. 150-1,cat. no. 53
Notes

In spite of his undoubted ability, Armand Guillaumin remains perhaps the least known of the French Impressionists. He took part in their first exhibition, at the Salon des Réfusés in 1863, and exhibited with them on many other occasions. He also played a fundamental part in the development of the movement.

Guillaumin visited Damiette, a small hamlet to the west of Paris, almost every year between 1882 and 1891 and was very productive on these visits. Of the twenty-one paintings that he exhibited in the eighth Impressionist exhibition of 1886, for example, at least eight were views of Damiette. Pommiers à Damiette was painted two years after Guillaumin had won a substantial sum of money on the National Lottery and was able to take up painting full-time. His winnings allowed him to travel to paint, and he did began to journey further afield, particularly to the Ocean at Saint-Palais-sur-Mer and to the Mediterranean at Agay. However, the birth of his third child Marguerite, who was baptised on 25 February 1893, may have meant that he preferred to stay close to Paris during the Spring months of that year.

The landscapes of Armand Guillaumin were amongst the most controversial of Impressionist paintings. Indeed his exotic colours led some critics - either genuinely or jokingly - to assume that he was depicting the Moroccan town of Damietta rather than northern France, as indeed the subject of this painting (if not the colours) confirm. (Ward, M., The Eight Exhibition 1886 - The Rhetoric of Independence and Innovation, The New Painting - Impressionism 1874-1886, San Francisco, 1986, p. 429). In spite of the jibes, Damiette remained a favourite subject and Guillaumin's treatment became more exaggerated and his colours more fiery as the years progressed.

The strongly asymmetrical composition suggests the influence of Japanese art which affected many European artists at this date. Guillaumin is known to have admired Japanese art - indeed the hall of his Parisian home was decorated with Japanese wall hangings. Equally, Guillaumin's work was admired in Japan and in the 1880s Hayashi imported no fewer than fifty of his paintings to Japan.(Georges Serret and Dominique Fabiani, Armand Guillaumin Catalogue Raisonée de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1971, p. 68).

Rights Owner Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums
Author Jennifer Melville
 

 

 

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