Paul Guigou regularly painted the scenery of Provence in southern France, the region of his birth. This small landscape is typical of his work and captures the crisp light of the region, with its strong jewel-like colours. The painting’s raised point of view gives a sense of the emptiness of Provence. The composition is dominated by the expanse of the land and the sky, while the near perfect reflections on the river as it winds its way under the rustic stone bridge provide another focal point.
Guigou came from a wealthy family and developed an early interest in landscape painting. He started his working life as a notary’s clerk but dedicated himself to painting full-time in 1862. In Paris he was friendly with many of the Impressionist group, including Frédéric Bazille, Alfred Sisley and Claude Monet. Even so, Guigou remained true to his own vision and went unnoticed at the Salon until after his death.