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Armand Guillaumin

Road and Railway

Artist

Armand Guillaumin
Paris 1841 – Orly 1927

Title

Road and Railway

Date

1881

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

73.3 x 100.5 cm

Credits

Gift of a Toronto admirer, in memory of Bernard Lamarre, a patron of the arts, inv. 2018.14

Collection

Western Art

The presence of electrical wires, a train and horse-drawn cart demonstrates Guillaumin’s desire to portray the encroachment of industrialization on the outskirts of Paris. Such subjects, along with bridges and viaducts, were of particular interest to this Parisian-born artist, who worked initially for the Paris-Orléans Railway and later for the Department of Roads and Bridges. Unable to make a living from the sale of his paintings – although Dr. Paul Gachet, famously portrayed by Guillaumin’s friend Van Gogh, collected many of his works – he chose to work at night, which allowed him to devote time during the day to plein air landscape painting. It was only after winning the French national lottery later in life that he became a full-time artist, travelling widely in France in response to the appeal exerted on him by the distinctive landscapes of its various regions.

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