The Quai d'Austerlitz

Creation date
oil on canvas
15 x 23-1/8 in. (sight) 24-5/8 x 33-3/8 in. (framed)
Credit line
Gift of Stephen W. Fess and Elaine Ewing Fess
Accession number
Currently On View In
Norb and Ruth Schaefer, Sr. & Norb and Carolyn Schaefer Gallery - H211

This canvas depicts routine activity on the left bank of the Seine River in Paris. Guillaumin, a loyal Impressionist, worked nights for the Paris Bridges and Roads Department, which may account for the many urban riverside views he produced during the 1870s and 1880s.

Guillaumin built up the composition by a series of broad, parallel brush strokes and used vivid turquoise and rose to record the reflection of light on the river and clouds.

After winning the French lottery in 1891, Guillaumin devoted himself full time to landscape painting.

Probably from the artist to George Viau, the Parisian collector; {1} auctioned at (Galeries Durand Ruel, Paris) in March, 1907. Purchased by Simon Bauer by 1933; confiscated during the German Occupation. Restituted to the Bauer family in the late 1960s; auctioned at (Christie's or Sotheby's) around 1967.{2} Purchased by (Hammer Galleries, New York) by 1985; purchased by Elaine and Steve Fess in June 1985; given to the IMA in December 2008. {3}

{1} Galeries Durand Ruel, Paris, "2ème Vente de la Collection George Viau, 21-22 March 1907, lot no. 37, (ill.)
{2} According to a fax of 11 November 1999 from Sarah Jackson, Director of Historic Claims, The Art Loss Register, London, and based on her meeting with a great-grandson of Simon Bauer, the Bauer family engaged Interpol and the French police to trace confiscated works from the collection. The Guillaumin was recovered by the family in the late 1960s and then sold at auction.
{3} IMA Temporary Receipt No. 6112.
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