In this print, this Impressionist artist uses diagonal strokes to illustrate a sunny scene by the riverbank. In the foreground lies the primary subjects--two figures lying down in the shade of a large cart. The cart contains a round green sack that obtrudes out. In the middle ground and background on the left, there are boardwalks extending into a moving river as well as a white arch bridge. In the right background, there is a grove of trees.
Although less well known than other members of the celebrated French Impressionist group, the painter and printmaker Guillaumin participated in six of the group’s eight exhibitions, and maintained lifelong friendships with Cézanne and Pissarro. James H. Rubin has argued that Guillaumin’s career may have been injured by the seeming good fortune of winning the French lottery in 1891: after he became financially secure for life, the artist may have ceased to promote his work aggressively to the public, and allowed his reputation to slip into obscurity.
Here, Guillaumin captures the kind of view of urban labor and industry in which he specialized: two figures recline in the shade cast by a loaded cart alongside a working riverfront. Guillaumin renders the scene entirely in strokes of color, omitting outlines from his delineation of the forms. The broad marks visible in the sky offer a bold counterpart to Cezanne’s “constructive stroke,” developed at about this time, which used parallel, rather than Guillaumin’s crossed, lines.
labor; trade; transportation; villages; water; industries; landscapes; rivers; bridges; boats; sunshine
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