(b Paris, March 25, 1840; d Paris, March 14, 1887).
French painter and writer. He was a student of François-Edouard Picot, Alexandre Abel de Pujol and Félix Barrias. After failing to win the Prix de Rome in historical landscape in 1861, he impulsively visited Algeria the following year; this journey, which he repeated ten times, determined his development as an Orientalist painter. He was a regular exhibitor at the Salon from 1861 where his combination of picturesque realism and academic composition was positively received by the State as illustrative of its Algerian policies (e.g. Evening Prayer in the Sahara, 1863; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay).
The Sahara (1867; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay), which depicts a camel skeleton in a desolate desert landscape, is an important 19th-century example of vanitas painting and evinces a philosophical strain in Guillaumet’s work. In the Labours series (1869–76) he brought out the poetic quality of the remote duars of Algeria and imbued his Orientalism with unusual naturalistic touches. After ...