Wednesday, 18 July 2012

George Pierre Guinegault, Quai de la Tournelle

George Pierre Guinegault
(Rennes 1893 - ? Paris)
French painter and printmaker

Little is known or to be found about this forgotten and obscured French artist. The old (un)loading crane and the location of this Paris aquatint print is what arose my interest in this obscured printmaker. 
It's showing the Notre Dame Cathedrale, the Quai de la Tournelle named after one of the 4 huge main towers (there were in all 50) in the 12th century citywall garding the rivers entrance) and the Pont de l'Archevêché spanning river Seine. One of the 15 bridges connecting the two Islands in River Seine: Île de la Cité and Île Saint Louis. Where legend says Julius Ceasar stood eye to eye with Vergincetorix head of French tribes. It's the very heart of Paris, of France and of French history.

There are uncountable paintings and prints made by uncountable artists of Quai de la Tournelle and the many others quais along river Seine so vital to the cities existence. Frantisek Simon's renderings (above) of this particular quay (1909) are coming closest to  Guinegaults print. The overhanging branches and seadpods of the plane trees (Platanus, Siccamore), so very caracteristic for the silhouette of Paris' streets and riverbanks. Simon (who had a studio and lived in Paris 1904-1914 created many prints of this particular corner of Paris. And see: the little crane's ! It's there. 
Above, at street level, where the famous Seine book stalls are and below where all goods and foods for a Metropolis and a population of millions were delivered by boat and distributed to shops and citizens, "en route" to the greatest covered food-market place in the world: les Halles. 
German printmaker Siegfried Berndt (1889-1946) sat here too. Compare what great atmosphere he created with a dash of color and a strong keyblock.

Guinegault created maybe his finest aquatint print of this most famous Paris landmark of Victorian grandeur and Gargantuan dimensions. Nicknamed "the belly of Paris", and immortalised by french icon and photographer Robert Doisneau (1912-1994) in 1953 before being demolished in the 1970's. It's now a park.  

But before moving to an arm chair trip along the Quay's of Paris seen by famous and less famous artists here's what I've discovered about George Pierre Guinegault. Giving him a chapter and entry in internet history.
Besides these two other aquatint prints, "la Bourse" (with Renault car) and a Paris night impression Guinegault has left some rather nice impressionist paintings of his native Brittany.

According to the pictures, combined with the knowledge found in an eulegy of his son and also artist Jean Pierre Guinegault (Paris 1918-2009) his father very much liked to paint models.

These nudes occasionally show up in auctions and although they could be called "boudoir art", and not entirely to my taste, they usually sell at considerable prices. 

And I've found this set of 4 Arabic Impression pochoir prints.

To honour father and son Guinecault here's my choice of Jean Pierre's legacy: "Buying bananas in Paris".

Next: an unexpected city tour along Quai de la Tournelle as seen and depicted by various artists.


  1. I have just acquired a piece by Guinegault and this weebsite was of great help in learning more about this elusive artist. Thanks

  2. An auction house in Toulouse (France) sold in 2012 a nude painting very, very close to Guinegault's style (signature included). Maybe a pseudonym. Just in case.

    1. Hello Frederick, do you have a picture or a link ?

  3. I have circa 1929 etching The Golden Fountain Anyone know this work ?