Lot 9
  • 9

CAMILLE PISSARRO La Côte des Mathurins à l'Hermitage, Pontoise

Estimate
400,000 - 600,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Camille Pissarro
  • La Côte des Mathurins à l'Hermitage, Pontoise
  • signed C. Pissarro and dated 1876 (lower right)
  • oil on canvas

Provenance

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired circa 1888)

Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (acquired from the above on 10th April 1888)

Isabella Hay, New York (acquired circa 1899)

Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (acquired from the above on 15th February 1905; until at least 1936)

Baron Louis de Chollet, Fribourg (acquired circa 1936)

Wildenstein & Cie. (acquired from the above in 1965)

Private Collection, USA (acquired by 1968)

Galerie Rinçon de Arte, Caracas

M & Mme François (acquired from the above. Sold: Christie's, London, 21st June 2011, lot 85)

Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Boston, Chase's Gallery, The Impressionists of Paris: Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, 1891, possibly no. 6 (titled Paysage près Pontoise)

Buffalo, The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, The Nineteenth Century: French Art in Retrospect, 1932, no. 47 (titled Landscape at Pontoise)

Indianapolis, John Herron Art Institute, 1932

Toronto, The Art Gallery of Toronto, Modern French Painting, from Manet to Matisse, 1933, no. 31 (titled Paysage près Pontoise)

Houston, Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, Modern French Paintings, 1934, no. 25 (titled Pontoise and as dating from 1871)

San Francisco, Museum of Art, Opening Exhibition: Art of our Time, 1935, no. 30

Albany, Albany Institute of History and Art, Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists, 1935, no. 18 (titled Landscape near Pontoise)

Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum, French Impressionist Landscape Painting, 1936, no. 50 (titled Landscape near Pontoise and with inverted measurements)

New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, before 1890, 1938, no. 9 (titled Paysage près Pontoise)

New York, Knoedler Galleries, Early Impressionism 1868-1883, 1941, no. 20 (titled Paysage à Pontoise)

Literature

Ludovic Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art - son œuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, no. 346, catalogued p. 129; vol. II, no. 346, illustrated pl. 69 (titled Paysage près Pontoise)

Charles Kunstler, Pissarro, villes et campagnes, Lausanne, 1967, fig. 14, illustrated in colour p. 31 (titled Paysage près de Pontoise)

Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, no. 444, illustrated in colour p. 321

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1876, La Côte des Mathurins à l’Hermitage depicts the outskirts of Pontoise, where Pissarro lived from 1866 until 1883. Located some twenty-five miles northwest of Paris, Pontoise was built on a hilltop, with the river Oise passing through it, elements which made it a highly picturesque environment in which to paint en plein-air. The region offered Pissarro a wide range of subjects, from crowded semi-urban genre scenes, views of roads and factories, to farmers working on the fields and isolated landscapes devoid of human presence. His compositions at this time alternated mainly between depictions of the busy streets of Pontoise, and L’Hermitage (fig. 1), a rural district on its outskirts, where Pissarro lived with his family. In the present canvas, the focal points are the tall cypress tree in the centre and the large house - located on the rue de l’Hermitage - on the right, with the hillside of the Côte des Mathurins visible in the background.

Joachim Pissarro wrote about the motifs that characterised Pissarro’s Pontoise pictures: ‘These endless combinations of contrasts and variable forces lend themselves to a thematic three-part opposition – intrinsic to the suburban world – between town, country, and their limits, or the intermediary formations that bind them together: the fringe, the villages nearby, the paths that lead to the town, the river, the kitchen gardens – all forms of transitions between field and town. […] Tensions of this type – rural/urban/suburban; nature/architecture/path; fields/path/building(s); city/river/bridge – are absolutely central to Pissarro’s output in Pontoise, and clearly represent the focal points of his grasp of the antinomies inherent in suburban spaces. Out of these, Pissarro composed a poetical-pictorial ensemble with resounding evocative power’ (J. Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, London, 1993, pp. 114-115).

La Côte des Mathurins à l’Hermitage indeed unites the rural and suburban aspects in a harmonious composition. The scene is animated by the figures walking along the path and going about their daily activities. The simple, solid shape of the buildings stands in contrast to the rolling hills and the patchwork of fields seen in the distance. The tall tree in the centre heralds a compositional device often used by Cézanne, who lived nearby and who would become Pissarro's regular painting companion in the following years. Dating from 1876, the present work exemplifies the height of Pissarro’s Impressionist style, painting with his easel in the midst of the landscape, and capturing its essence in swift, spontaneous brushstrokes, without any preparatory sketches. Joachim Pissarro observed: ‘During his years in Pontoise, Pissarro was deeply involved with the Impressionist group and was seen not only as a committed Impressionist artist until at least 1882, but also as an ardent defender of the group’s function as an alternative to the Salons. […] He was the only artist to exhibit in all eight Impressionist exhibitions’ (ibid., p. 90).

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