Albert Guillaume

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Biography of Albert Guillaume ( 1873-1942 )

Son of the architect Edmond Guillaume and brother of Henri Guillaume, also an architect, the young Albert Guillaume seemed destined to follow this already mapped-out career path. However, he chose a completely different path, and from an early age he devoted himself to caricature. He followed the teachings of Gérôme at the ‘école des Beaux-Arts’, but his inborn liking for burlesque led him to start a career in drawings and illustrations of a humorous nature. As from 1890 he provided numerous newspapers and magazines with sketches full of witty eloquence, such as Le Gil Blas, La Caricature, Le Rire, L’Assiette au beurre, Le Monde Illustré... He also illustrated works by Willy, Courteline, Allais… It was from 1904 that he started his painting career, but he did not give up illustration and humorous drawings. He exhibited every year until 1939 at the ‘Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts’. These were works which attracted crowds thanks to their pleasing ferocity. He was also present at the Exhibition of French Artists and the Humorists’ Exhibition. In 1900 he was awarded with a bronze medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

The painting shown here is particularly representative of the training Albert Guillaume had and his own tastes. In fact, it is between classic genre and caricature. The two men and the decor of the theatre are painted with a lot of realism. The young woman on the right is looking somewhat inquisitively at the crowd, through her lorgnette. As for the second woman, she appears to be laughing at the gathering and showing her friends the funny side of the situation. One can remark the very open technique used by Albert Guillaume in the way the curtains and armchair are depicted, as well as the theatre itself, which are brushed with juice and quick little strokes.

32 avenue Marceau
75008 Paris, France
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