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    Rue Lepic à Montmartre, Paris, circa 1870
    Oil on canvas
    18-1/8 x 15 inches (46.0 x 38.1 cm)
    Signed lower left: Guillaumin
    Galerie Eugène Blot, Paris;
    Private collection, Paris, acquired from the above, January 20, 1925;
    By descent to the present owner;
    [With] Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco, California.

    Salon d'Automne, Paris, "Exposition Guillaumin," November-December 1926, no. 72.

    Because of his poor financial situation and need to support his family through a regular job in the Paris railway department, Jean-Baptiste-Armand Guillaumin rarely painted full-time and is thus less well known than his fellow Impressionists; however, equally radical in his technique and subject matter, he ranks among the finest of these painters of modern life, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas. Despite his working-class roots, Guillaumin spent his free time studying art at the Louvre, and he scraped together enough money to take evening classes at the Académie Suisse, where he met his lifelong friends Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. With these artistically revolutionary cohorts, Guillaumin participated in the 1863 Salon des Refusés and in six Impressionist exhibitions between 1874-1886, ultimately developing a jewel-toned palette and a distinctive impastoed and hatched brushwork reflecting the influence of Vincent van Gogh.

    Guillaumin's early Impressionist subjects typically concentrated on industrial life around the Seine, rather than on the leisure activities of the city's theaters, café concerts, racetracks, or parks. He was not alone in this pursuit: Monet painted whole series of steam-belching trains in the Gare Saint-Lazare, and Gustave Caillebotte, the massive, girded bridges of a newly modernized Paris. With his connection to the transportation industry, Guillaumin favored images of the bustling quays of the Seine, showing steamers landing at the docks, workers unloading boats, and cranes hoisting crates onto horse-drawn buggies. These particular subjects allowed Guillaumin to experiment with the dappled effects of light on water versus sandy shores and with the atmospheric conditions of boat steam and billowing clouds.

    Diverging from these active industrial landscapes, Rue Lepic à Montmartre, Paris from around 1870 is noteworthy as one of Guillaumin's few paintings of the artists' neighborhood Montmartre on the Right Bank. Rue Lepic was home to numerous artists, including Guillaumin's friend Vincent van Gogh and his brother, Theo, the painter Charles Leandre, and the illustrator Jean-Louis Forain. Here, Guillaumin accentuates the intimacy of the neighborhood by bounding the narrow, curving road by lofty stone apartments with cheerful green shutters. Featuring a single female figure walking to market early in the morning, Guillaumin also highlights the quietness of the road - a far cry from the bacchanalian scenes that the cabarets Moulin Rouge and Le Chat Noir would bring to Montmartre in the 1880s. In this respect, Rue Lepic à Montmartre, Paris recalls the related Guillaumin painting Montmartre, in which a lone woman, standing in the road on the backside of gardened apartments, stares wistfully into a window. Indeed, with its emphasis on a white palette, accented by greens, blues, and purples; the strong geometries of the switch-backing roads of Montmartre; and the theme of urban solitude, Rue Lepic à Montmartre, Paris presages the work of the famous Montmartre Post-Impressionist Maurice Utrillo.

    The present work is accompanied by a certificate from the Comité Guillaumin, dated June 6, 2012, confirming that this painting will be included in the forthcoming second volume of the Guillaumin Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by the Comité Guillaumin with Dominique Fabiani, Stéphanie Chardeau-Botteri and Jacques de la Béraudière.

    Condition Report*: Lined canvas; under UV exam, there appear to be several small spots of inpainting along the extreme edges, as well as a 1 x 1 inch upside-down L-shape in the sky to the right of the chimney, and a small spot near the point of the brown rooftop in the upper right quadrant. Framed Dimensions 25.875 X 22.75 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    10th Wednesday
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