Armand Guillaumin was born in Paris and attended the Académie Suisse when he was twenty years of age. The Suisse Academy was an art school at which various artists studied before him trained, including Eugène Delacroix and Paul Cézanne. Guillaumin met the latter, who became a life-long friend – in 1871 they painted together by the Seine and Cézanne is said to have been very impressed by Guillaumin’s work.

In 1863, two years after joining the Académie Suisse, Guillaumin exhibited at the Salon des Refusés, popularised by Edouard Manet for avant-garde artists to exhibit canvases rejected from the canonical Paris Salon. Here Guillaumin befriended Dutchman Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), whose vibrant colour intensity paralleled the Frenchman’s own experimentations. Vincent’s brother Theo also sold some of Guillaumin’s works.

The artist’s most famous works are landscapes and experimentations with the effects of light, mainly of Parisian scenes. In 1870 he worked alongside Camille Pissarro in Pontoise, as well as with Cézanne at Auvers. Guillaumin experimented with strong structural compositions and shimmering light, and Pissarro encouraged him to exhibit three canvases at the first Impressionist exhibition.