The Seine at Charenton (formerly Daybreak)

Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin (French, 1841-1927)
Oil on canvas 
21-1/4 x 25-3/8 in. (53.3 x 63.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

In this view of a Parisian suburb, factories belch smoke into the bright sky; creamily applied paint invites us to compare black clouds and white. The picture is dated to May 1874, just after the opening of the first Impressionist exhibition, where Guillaumin showed three works. He was among the most radical members of the group, both aesthetically and politically. Desperately poor, he eked out a living on the outskirts of the capital, working as a ditch digger and day laborer, barely able to afford materials or time to paint. As a result, his body of work from the 1870s and 1880s is unusually small but provides a unique perspective on modern Paris, depicting not its glamorous center but its rough industrial suburbs.


Edmond Décap, Paris, sold 17 March 1900 to;
[Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, stock no. 10.435, sold 17 March 1908 to];
Georges Hoentschel de Malherbe (1855-1915), Paris, by inheritance to;
Madame Hoentschel de Malherbe, Paris (sale, London, Sotheby’s, 24 April 1968, lot 94);
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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