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"Ouvrez le Guillemet..."

He is perhaps better known for the fact that he poses alongside Berthe Morisot and Fanny Claus on Edouard Manet's "balcony" than for his works which remain marked by the influence of Corot and Daubigny.

A friend of Manet, Cézanne and Pissarro, Antoine Guillemet (1842-1918) was very close to the Impressionist group, without however adopting its style. It was he who showed a painting by Cézanne to Manet for the first time and who took Zola to the Café Guerbois, where he was one of the regulars.

Paul Gauguin. Vision après le Sermon. 1888. National Galleries of Scotland.
Le Port de Barfleur, huile sur toile de Jean-Baptiste Antoine Guillemet (1843-1918), 24 x 35 cm. Musée des beaux-Arts de Caen, collection « Peindre en Normandie »

Very kind, this son of a Bercy wine merchant had a personal fortune that allowed him to work as he pleased. Worldly, without being pretentious, he was anxious to please his friends, even if he did not follow them in the movement which gave birth to Impressionism. It is thanks to him that Paul Cézanne was accepted at the Salon (with the mention "student of Antoine Guillemet") and that Edouard Manet obtained a second medal.

Camille Pissarro. La Marne à Chennevières. 1864. National Galleries of Scotland
Jean Baptiste Antoine Guillemet - Landscape with Little Girl - 1991.127.3 - Yale University Art Gallery

Antoine Guillemet once confided to Camille Pissarro: "After Corot, Daubigny and Jongkind, there is nothing more to do".

Antoine Guillemet on Edouard Manet's "balcony", between Berthe Morisot seated and Fanny Claus standing. Musée d'Orsay. © RMN (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...

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