Armand Guillaumin’s Sunset at Ivry (Soleil couchant à Ivry) of 1873 grants a great deal of the canvas to light effects in the evening sky where the heat of the day, the golden light, begins to dissipate while cold blues signifying the approaching night begins to descend on the darkening scene of industrial chimneys and water.
The unfinished technique combined with an attention to atmospheric effects, such as in the wafting red-brown of the factories’ smoke against the sunlight, looks back to the work of J.M.W. Turner. Guillaumin also joys in the treatment of the water and its reflections of the trees on the right, and in the gold and turquoise of the water in the left middle distance.
There is poise in this painting between nature on the one hand and the industrial and the social on the other.
Armand Guillaumin is one of the lesser-known French Impressionists. Yet he could count among his artist friends such figures as Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro whom he met at the Académie Suisse where he studied from 1861.
Guillaumin exhibited early works at the Salon des Réfusés of 1863 and participated in 6 of the 8 Impressionist exhibitions from 1874. In 1886 he befriended Vincent Van Gogh whose brother Theo sold some work for him.
Armand Guillaumin’s Sunset at Ivry is in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.