Skip to main content

Madame Guillaumin cousant (Madame Guillaumin Sewing)

Armand Guillaumin

| Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts (Inv. AG.D.1954.8.1)

Date : 1888 | Medium : Pastel on paper, 50 x 60 cm

Guillaumin married Marie-Josèphe Gareton on 10 January 1887 in Paris, with Degas and Gauguin as witnesses. This pastel painting, dated 1888, is one of the many works that depict the artist’s wife in a domestic scene, for example fishing, reading, writing, caring for children or sewing, capturing the couple’s intimate happiness.

As is also the case for Lépine’s Snow-covered landscape, the first mention of this work is found in the sale by the dealer Raphaël Gérard to Friedrich Welz, director of the Salzbourg Landesgalerie, on 11 October 1941 for 600 reichsmarks. The Reich’s museums purchased many works during the war, thanks notably to the very favourable exchange rate imposed by the occupying forces, which was arbitrarily set at 20 francs to 1 reichsmark, whilst the “normal” exchange rate would have been around 11 or 12 francs to 1 reichsmark. Moreover, there was no compensation between the Reich Bank and the Bank of France; as such, it was the Bank of France that paid the seller and the price paid was included in the amount of the occupational damages demanded from France.

In 1943, Salzburg Museum’s collections were safeguarded at the St Gilgen monastery located close to the city. At the end of the war, the collections were handed over to the Americans responsible for this area of the country. On 18 April 1947, a large group of French works, which includes the Guillaumin, was returned to the French authorities before coming back to France.

Retained by the 4th Selection Committee on 21 December 1949 and assigned to the Louvre Museum, the pastel painting was deposited in the Museum of Rouen by the decree of 29 January 1954.