About this artwork

The strong shadows, parched earth, sparse vegetation and dusty grey-green olive trees convey the effects of strong sunlight on the colouring and forms of the southern French landscape. A goatherd seeks shade under a tree while his animals nibble at the dry grass. In the far distance a woman and her donkey continue along the track. Guigou painted this picture in 1860 while he was still a law student, a year before he decided to devote himself to painting full time. It met with a favourable response when he exhibited the painting in Montpellier.

Paul-Camille Guigou

Paul-Camille Guigou

Guigou painted landscapes which explore the brilliant light and arid scenery of his native Provence in the south of France. He initially trained as a lawyer to please his parents but began exhibiting paintings in Marseilles from 1854. After moving to Paris in 1862 he began to exhibit regularly at the Salon. He attended Manet's gatherings at the Café Guerbois and enjoyed the company of Monet, Pissarro and Sisley, but his distinctive paintings do not seem to have been particularly influenced by them.