During these years Pissarro liked to alternate between urban and rural subjects. He often went to harbor cities like Rouen and Le Havre, to Paris where he met with friends as well as art dealers, and to London, where he was visiting his sons. Exhausted by frequent travels, the artist would return to the peace of Éragny, where he enjoyed painting the garden and the meadow in front of his house, as well as the neighboring villages of Gisors and Bazincourt and the villagers at work in the fields. Henceforth, Éragny became the focal point of Pissarro’s art, and as Joachim Pissarro has observed: “His representations 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, London, 1993, p. 225). Pissarro never tired of depicting this region, exploring the changing light effects in various seasons and weather conditions. In the present work, he depicted this beloved place on a sunny morning, with the shimmering effect of the early morning light on the trees and foliage.
The critical and commercial success of Pissarro’s first major retrospective which was held at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris in January 1892, brought a new confidence and stability to his life. One of the most prominent avant-garde painters of his generation, Pissarro had achieved enormous success as both an Impressionist and a Neo-Impressionist painter. Adjusting certain elements from his classic Impressionist period of the 1870s, and combining them with characteristics of his Neo-Impressionist style of the 1880s, in the early 1890s Pissarro began developing a fresh approach to painting. That new found stability is reflected in the present work, as its sense of unity and harmony between nature and the man-made world is particularly strong, and it expresses the painter’s profound belief in the ideal of a society based on egalitarian principles.
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