Lot 36
  • 36

Camille Pissarro

1,500,000 - 2,500,000 USD
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  • Camille Pissarro
  • Paysannes causant dans la cour d'une ferme, √Čragny
  • Signed C. Pissarro and dated twice 95-1902 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 31 1/2 by 25 3/4 in.
  • 80 by 65.4 cm


Albert Prat (by 1904 and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 17, 1938, lot 48)

Loeb Collection (acquired at the above sale)

Sale: Palais d'Orsay, Paris, December 8, 1978, lot 47

Private Collection, France

Private Collection, Japan

Acquired from the above


Paris, Galerie Boussod & Valadon, Oeuvres récentes de Camille Pissarro, 1890, no. 7

Christiania (Oslo), Kunstudstillingen, 1890, no. 125

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel,  L'Oeuvre de Camille Pissarro, 1904, no. 121

Paris, Galerie Eugène Blot, Camille Pissarro, 1907, (possibly) no. 14


Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, vol. II, 1891-1894, Paris, 1988, no. 538, p. 289; no. 540, p. 291; vol. III, no. 706, p. 142; vol. IV, no. 1118, p. 44

Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro, Son art - Son oeuvre, vol. 1, Paris, 1939, no. 1272, catalogued p. 257; vol 2., illustrated pl. 248 (as dating from 1895-1902)

Hugues Le Roux, "Au jour le jour, Exposition Pissarro," Le Temps, Paris, March 7, 1890, discussed p. 2

Albert G. Aurier, "Beaux-Arts. Exposition de février-mars," Mercure de France, Paris, April, 1890, p. 143

Lili Jampoller,"Theo van Gogh and Camille Pissarro, Correspondence and an Exhibition," Simiolus, vol. XVI, Netherlands, 1986, p. 56 (letter dated October 6, 1890)

Joachim Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York & London, 1993, no. 201, illustrated in color p. 179

Albert G. Aurier, Textes critiques 1889-1892, De l'impressionnisme au symbolisme, Paris, 1995, discussed p. 55

Martha Ward, Pissarro, Neo-Impressionism and the Spaces of the Avant-Garde, Chicago & London, 1996, no. 5, illustrated p. 326

Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, vol. III, Geneva, 2005, no. 868, illustrated in color p. 569


Very good condition. The canvas is lined. Under UV light, a .5 inch area of retouching can be seen in the lower right quadrant below the two chickens. The surface has impasto and colors are strong.
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

Pissarro set himself apart from his fellow Impressionist painters with his candid depictions of rural laborers.  These paintings provided intimate portrayals of the toils and daily experiences of the men and women of the heartland, far from the flux of urban life.  While Pissarro was not out to romanticize his subjects, he captured the authenticity of their experience through the filter of dazzling Impressionist techniques.  The present composition, which depicts two women chatting in an Éragny farmyard, exemplifies the results of the artist's successful endeavor.

In their revised catalogue raisonné of the artist's paintings, Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts explain that Pissarro painted this picture to a state of completion in 1889 and was ready to sell it at that time through the dealer Theo Van Gogh at Galerie Bousson & Valadon.  In his correspondence with his son Lucien in September of that year, he describes going to Van Gogh's gallery, where 'The Women with Buckets' hung with a brand-new gilded frame and with "an intensity of hue, a heartening warmth, very strong and rich" (quoted in J. Pissarro & C. Durand-Ruel Snoellarts, op. cit. p. 569).  The painting was then exhibited at the gallery in 1890 under the title 'Women chatting', and was then sent to Oslo for exhibition later that October.  But in November 1891, Pissarro evidently reclaimed the picture from Van Gogh and decided to make some adjustments to his composition.  "It's going to be stunning," he boasted to Lucien in anticipation of the composition that we now see here.  Pissarro's reworking of the painting took place over the next decade, which accounts for the dating of 1895-1902 written in the lower-right corner.  

In preparation for this final composition, Pissarro completed several preparatory drawings, one of which is now in the collection of the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff and another in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University in Cambridge.