Lot 2
  • 2

Camille Pissarro

Estimate
1,800,000 - 2,500,000 USD
Sold
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Description

  • Camille Pissarro
  • Le Grand noyer au printemps, Éragny
  • Signed and dated C. Pissarro. 94 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 23 1/2 by 28 3/4 in.
  • 59.5 by 73 cm

Provenance

Maurice Leclanché, Paris (sold: vente Leclanché, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 6, 1924, lot 76)

Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Dr. Claude Lopez, Paris (acquired from the above in 1950)

Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London

Private Collection, United States (acquired from the above in April 1971 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 11, 1999, lot 105)

Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Tableaux par Camille Pissarro, 1928, no. 66

Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paysages de l'Ile de France, 1937

Atlanta, The High Museum of Art, Georgia Collects, 1989, no. 60

Literature

Vittorio Pica, Gli Impressionisti francesi, Bergamo, 1908, illustrated p. 132

Curiosa, "Revue des ventes de la semaine," Le Figaro Artistique, Paris, November 20, 1924, listed p. 93 (titled Deux femmes sous un grand arbre)

La Gazette de l'Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 8, 1924, listed p. 2

Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art -- son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1939, no. 878, catalogued p. 203; vol. II, no. 878, illustrated pl. 178 (titled Le Noyer au printemps, Éragny)

Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, catalogue critique des peintures, vol. III, Paris, 2005, no. 1031, illustrated p. 662

Catalogue Note

Le Grand Noyer au Printemps, Éragny depicts a walnut tree flanked by a cluster of apple trees in a gently sloping field.  Pissarro settled in the village of Éragny after leaving Pontoise in 1882 and was to remain there for the rest of his life, creating his largest and most significant body of work within the landscape genre.  This work was painted at the height of Pissarro’s Post-Impressionist style and characterizes the luminous and flickering qualities of his handling of paint from this period.

 

Joachim Pissarro describes Pissarro’s production in Éragny, “Unlike Pontoise, whose tensions were those of a suburban town, semi-rural and semi-urban, in Éragny no signs of industry could be observed for miles. Varied expanses of pasture and cultivated land complete the visual field. However, Éragny’s earthly space is not banal. For twenty years Pissarro concentrated on this very confined area, on the visual material offered by the stretch of meadows lying in front of him, informed by poplars, gates, the river, and produced over two-hundred paintings of these motifs. His representation of these fields and gardens constitute the most spectacularly intense pictorial effort to ‘cover’ a particular given space in his career” (Joachim Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1993, p. 225).

 

Pissarro returned to the present motif at least once again, in 1895, as the majestic walnut tree dwarfing the smaller fruit trees beneath it seems to have held a particular power for him. In the present work, he situates the two figures of a mother with her young daughter at the base of the walnut tree and sets up a symbolic progression in size from the tree’s overarching presence to the rich foliage of the apple trees, leading to the two figures that appear frail in the midst of nature’s might. Pissarro conjures up an abiding testament to the beauty of the region and a salutary lesson in the insignificance of humankind in the face of the vastness and endurance of nature.

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