French sculptor Emile Guillemin underwent his artistic training with his father Emile-Marie-Auguste Guillemin and then with the sculptor Jean-Jules Salmson. He began at the Salon des Artistes Français from 1870, with two plaster casts of Roman gladiators. Bronze editions were purchased by the French State for the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Guillemin continued to exhibit at the Salon until the end of the 1890’s, where he exhibited a series of bronze busts of oriental women. He especially liked to practise
the heroic or exotic genre, where he pushed realism to an extreme, in his bronze statues in particular, with his impressive quality of carving.
His busts are part of the Orientalist movement and have a particular context, since Guillemin travelled in North Africa and in the Mediterranean basin with the intention of identifying the anthropological characteristics of different local cultures, like Charles Cordier had done a few years earlier.
Guillemin worked with the great art publishing houses, such as Barbedienne and Christofle.