While Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927), whose best-known Impressionist painting is Setting Sun at Ivry (1873), may not have been the most famous of the Impressionists, he was a highly regarded member of the group and greatly influenced his fellow Impressionist artists.
Armand Guillaumin is best known for his landscapes and bold colors. One of his paintings of the river Seine was the basis for his good friend Paul Cézanne's first lithograph. Other than members of the Impressionist group, Guillaumin also formed a strong friendship with artist Vincent van Gogh and his brother.
In Setting Sun at Ivry, the artist's view of Ivry embraces both nature and industry. The setting sun colors the broad sky, giving full play to temporal light effects. But the factory smokestacks billow steamy plumes that dissolve into the atmosphere, adding to the visual sensation. It was characteristic of members of the Impressionist circle to accept the modern landscape as they found it without idealization or judgment. Technology -- in the form of factories and smokestacks -- was simply another fact of contemporary life.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American paintings. She is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.