This smallish canvas is historically important as one of the very first views of the Eiffel Tower by an artist who may be considered the preeminent creator of artistic views of the Eternal City. Guillemet painted the important landmarks and events of Paris for more than 35 years, and his canvases show the evolution of the major metropolis.
The Eiffel Tower was built in 1887-89 as part of the celebration of the Centennial of the French Revolution, yet the project met with much resistance, due to its prominence as a visual presence. Besides its nature as a commemorative symbol, it has been used as a communication antenna for telegraphy, radio and television.
Beautifully worked into the flow of this painting, Guillemet swirls the oil on canvas with fluid brushwork to lead the eye in smooth transitions of the natural and manmade details. Terra cotta roof tiles fit perfectly amongst the tree tops in the flora foreground, and industrial towers rise naturally near the flow of th eRiver Seine. The last touches appear to be the heaviest of the impasto; white puffs of steam and clouds in perfect dichotomy. A lovely painting of the emotional heart of Paris.
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