The Seine at Charenton (formerly Daybreak)
Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin (French, 1841-1927)
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.


  • Artist Name: Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin (French, 1841-1927)
  • Title: The Seine at Charenton (formerly Daybreak)
  • Date: 1874
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 21-1/4 x 25-3/8 in. (53.3 x 63.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1968.16.2.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

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.

[on loan]

  • Kansas City, Nelson Gallery of Art, 1968-07-17 to

[on loan]

  • Hunt Branch Library, Fullerton, 1969-02-07 to

[on loan]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969-07-16 to 1974-11-26

Reinstallation of South Wing

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-10-07 to 1995-08-13

A Revolution of the Palette: The First Synthetic Blues and their Impact on French Artists

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2015-07-17 to 2016-01-04

Three Centuries of French Art: Selections from The Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art and the Norton Simon Foundation_2

  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1974-10-19 to 1976-06-15

Images of the Landscape, Barbizon and Impressionist Paintings from the Permanent Collection

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1987-07-02 to 1989-10-29

Selections from the Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art

  • Princeton University Art Museum, 1972-12-03 to 1974-07-17

By Day & By Night: Paris in the Belle Époque

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2019-10-04 to 2020-03-02
  • Serret, G.; and D. Fabiani, Armand Guillaumin, 1841-1927: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1971, no. 33
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 135
  • Guillin, Anne, Les peintres et les Hauts-de-Seine, 1990, pl. 27 p. 8
  • Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1, 2006,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 450 p. 299

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