"Rochers au Trayas"
oil on canvas, signed "Guillaumin" lower left.
18 1/8 x 21 3/4 inches
Armand Guillaumin was a French Impressionist and a contemporary of Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Degas, Cezanne and Morisot. Like them, he studied with Camille Pissarro and was among the many artists including Monet and Cezanne who painted Pissarro. Guillaumin exhibited with the group at the 1863 Salon des Refuses and later at the important first Impressionist exhibition of 1874.
Guillaumin was not as well-to-do as his friends in the Impressionist circle and in 1872 he had to take a government job to supplement his painting career. For several years, he managed to continue painting, participating in six of the eight Impressionist Exhibitions between 1877-1886. He caught a lucky break in 1892 winning the city lottery, enabling him to paint full-time.
After his windfall in 1892, he was able to travel making repeat visits to Saint-Palais-Sur-Mer, Agay, Brittany, the Auvergne and surrounding coastal villages. The present canvas was undoubtedly painted on one such excursion to Le Trayas, a short distance from Agay.
The landscape in Le Trayas is known for the natural color juxtaposition of the cragged red rocks of the Esterel mountain range and the bright blue of the Mediterranean sea. The coastline in Trayas is composed of many small, rocky coves surrounded with green shrubs and Mediterranean pine trees. Guillaumin was attracted to this unusual, brightly colored landscape and painted it on numerous occasions around 1890-1910.
Like many of the Impressionists, Guillaumin experimented throughout his career. In the present lot, the viewer can foreshadow the coming influence of Post-Impressionism, Symbolism and Fauvism. Guillaumin’s color palette is very bright and he uses broad, painterly brush strokes to create a textured canvas.
Paintings by Guillaumin are found in numerous international private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Musee d’Orsay and the Norton Simon Museum among others.