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Landscape in Southern France

Landscape in Southern France, 1870

Paul-Camille Guigou
French, 1834-1871
Oil on panel
7-1/8 x 17-7/8 in. (18.1 x 45.4 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on View

Although his life was cut short by the Franco-Prussian War, Paul-Camille Guigou succeeded in capturing the physical beauty of Provence in a series of limitless panoramas. Whether he was depicting the quiet fishing village of Martigues or the unique grasslands of the Camargues, Guigou’s lateral vistas present the variety of the southern French landscape with absolute geographic specificity. In the main, his brushwork is thin, as evidenced in Landscape in Martigues. The picture, relatively devoid of artistic gesture, is defined by the sparse use of paint, unlike the landscapes of many of his contemporaries. But in Landscape in Southern France, one of the last works completed just before his untimely death, Guigou’s handling of paint begins to loosen. His pigment becomes heavier and more material, anticipating the techniques of the Impressionists.

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