Lot 58
  • 58

Camille Pissarro

1,500,000 - 2,000,000 USD
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  • Camille Pissarro
  • Crue de la Seine, pont Boieldieu, Rouen
  • Signed C. Pissarro and dated 96 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 21 1/2 by 26 in.
  • 54.5 by 66 cm


Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired directly from the artist on April 11, 1896)

Felix-François Depeaux, Rouen (acquired from the above on April 16, 1896 and sold: Coll. Depeaux, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, May 31 & June 1, 1906, lot 221)

Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Private Collection

Graham Arader, New York (sold: Sotheby's New York, May 9, 1989, lot 13)

Private Collection (acquired at the above sale)

Acquired from the above in 1993


Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Oeuvres rècentes de Camille Pissarro, 1896, no. 7


Georges Dubosc, "Par-ci, par-là, un peu de peinture. La collection Depeaux", in Journal de Rouen, July 22, 1900, p. 1 (or possibly no. 1122)

"Revue des ventes. Collection Depeaux", in Le Journal des arts, Paris, June 2, 1906, p.3

Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, son art - son oeuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, no. 955, p. 213; vol. II, no. 955, illustrated

Christopher Lloyd, Studies on Camille Pissarro, London, 1987, referenced p. 93

Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Correspondence de Camille Pissarro, vol. III, 1891-1894, Paris, 1988, no. 1129, p. 186, no. 7

Richard R. Brettell & Joachim Pissarro, The Impressionist and the City: Pissarro's Series Paintings, New Haven,  1992, fig. 4, illustrated in color p. 12

Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Critical Catalogue of Paintings, vol. III, Paris, 2005, no. 1120, illustrated in color p. 707


Excellent condition. Original canvas. Under UV light, no evidence of retouching. Beautiful surface texture, with impasto intact.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Pissaro's depiction of the Boieldieu bridge as it spans the overflooded Seine dates from early 1896, when he returned to Rouen in January to paint landscapes in preparation for a solo-exhibition at Durand-Ruel that spring.  Staying at in a hotel at 52 quai de Paris, he completed fifteen views from his room before returning to Éragny at the end of March.  The present composition depicts the newly-erected triple-span iron bridge, with the Saint-Sever district, the Place Carnot and the train station of Orleans on the left bank.  When it was exhibited alongside its companion canvases at Durand-Ruel that April, the critic Eugène Hoffmann was particularly taken by Pissarro's views of the Pont Boieldieu, stating "Nothing could be more interesting than comparing these canvases, in which one discovers a most extraordinary diversity of techniques and effects of light" (reprinted in J. Pissarro & C.D.-R. Snollaerts, op. cit.,  p. 705).

Pissarro’s painting campaigns in Rouen - one in 1895 and two in 1896 - followed in the wake of Monet’s famous oil series from 1894 depicting the façade of the city’s cathedral.  Although the quays of Rouen had first attracted Pissarro’s artistic attention in 1883, his interest in the city’s architecture, mainly its bridges and docks, intensified after Monet’s recent success exhibiting the Rouen cathedral canvases at Durand-Ruel in 1895.  According to Joachim Pissarro, there was a “multifaceted pictorial dialogue between the two artists, with Rouen as their subject matter” (R. Brettell & J. Pissarro, The Impressionists and the City, op. cit., p. 3).  It is as if Pissarro is reminding us that the beauty of the natural landscape has not yet been eclipsed by relentless urban development.

The pictures that Pissarro completed in Rouen are not only to be his first major urban series, but also his first compositions that focus exclusively on the subject of the Seine.  He painted his series of industrialized waterfront activity from the rooms that he rented at the Hôtel de Paris, where he had what he describes as an unbeatable view of city life, the river, and the bridges that crossed it:  "I have effects of fog and mist, of rain of the setting sun and of grey weather, motifs of bridges seen from every angle, quays with boats…,” he marveled in a letter to his son Lucien.   “[B]ut what interests me especially is a motif of the bridge…, with much traffic, carriages, pedestrians, workers on the quays, boats, smoke, mist in the distance, the whole scene fraught with animation and life” (from a letter dated February 26, 1896 and reprinted in J. Rewald, Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien, New York, 1943, pp. 282-83).