PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF DAVID C. COPLEY, LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA
Painted in 1878, the present work depicts a landscape near the town of Pontoise, where Pissarro lived from 1866 until 1883. In deciding to move to Pontoise, the artist was partly guided by a desire to separate himself from the influence of his predecessors, the established French landscape painters, and to depict an environment scarcely recorded by other masters. Located some twenty-five miles northwest of Paris, Pontoise was built on a hilltop, with the river Oise passing through it, making it a highly picturesque environment in which to paint en plein air. The town's economy thrived on agriculture as well as industry, offering Pissarro a wide range of subjects, from crowded semi-urban genre scenes and views of roads and factories to farmers working on the fields and isolated landscapes devoid of human presence.
La Maison Rondest et son jardin à l'Hermitage, Pontoise was formerly in the collection of Mary Cassatt, who also acquired other works by Pissarro for her personal collection. More than a decade after he painted the present work Pissarro commented on Cassatt’s prints (while they were exhibiting together at Durand-Ruel), describing her tones as "even, subtle, delicate, without stains on the seams: adorable blues, fresh rose, etc... The result is admirable, as beautiful as Japanese work. And it’s done with printer’s ink” (quoted in Ralph Shikes & Paula Harper, Pissarro, His Life and Work, New York, 1980, pp. 256-58).
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