Lot 13
  • 13

CAMILLE PISSARRO | Prairie avec vaches, brume, soleil couchant à Éragny

Estimate
2,000,000 - 3,000,000 USD
Sold
3,735,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Camille Pissarro
  • Prairie avec vaches, brume, soleil couchant à Éragny
  • Signed C. Pissarro. and dated 1891 (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas

Provenance

Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist on February 4, 1892)

Sammarcelli Collection, Paris (acquired from the above on February 4, 1892 and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 22, 1895, lot 61)

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

Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (transferred from the above)

Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur L. Cummings, Greenwich (acquired from the above on October 2, 1933 and sold: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, April 1, 1942, lot 39)

Dr. Albert Blum, New Jersey (acquired at the above sale)

Margaret & Sydney Lowy, Baltimore (by descent from the above and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 9, 1989, lot 21)

Sale: Christie's, New York, May 12, 1993, lot 21

Private Collection, United States (acquired at the above sale and sold: Christie's, New York, November 18, 1998, lot 29)

Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Exposition Camille Pissarro, 1892, no. 42 (titled Soleil couchant avec brouillard)

Detroit, The Detroit Museum of Art, French Impressionists, 1915, no. 36

New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Camille Pissarro, 1916, no. 11

New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Pissarro and Sisley, 1928, no. 10

New York, The Union League Club of New York, Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists, 1932, no. 15 (titled Soleil couchant brouillard)

Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, Camille Pissarro, Impressionist Innovator, 1994-95, no. 96, illustrated in color in the catalogue 

Literature

Alfred Ernst, “Camille Pissarro” in La Paix, Paris, February 3, 1892, p. 2

Georges Wulff, “L’Exposition de M. Camille Pissarro” in Le National, Paris, Feburary 7, 1892, p. 3

Clément Janin, “Chronique. Camille Pissarro” in L’Estafette, Paris, February 18, 1892, p. 1

Albert Aurier, “Choses d’Art” in Mercure de France, Paris, March 1892, p. 283

Charles Saunier, “L’Art nouveau. I, Camille Pissarro” in La Revue indépendante, Pairs, April 1892, p. 36

“Two French Artists. Pissarro and Sisley” in The New York Times, December 16, 1928, p. 14

Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art, son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1939, no. 768, catalogued p. 189; vol. II, no. 768, illustrated pl. 159 (titled Soleil couchant et brouillard à Éragny)

Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, vol. III, Paris, 1988, no. 750, p. 193

Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, vol. III, Paris, 2005, no. 909, illustrated in color p. 596

Catalogue Note

Dating from 1891, the present work was painted in Éragny, a small village on the banks of the river Epte. Pissarro and his family moved to Éragny, situated some three kilometers from Gisors, in the spring of 1884. In 1892 Pissarro, with the financial help of Claude Monet who lived in neighboring Giverny, purchased the house his family had been renting for the previous eight years; the house exists to this day, on a street named after the artist. Pissarro was delighted with the tranquility of his new environment, and the endless source of inspiration it offered him. In a letter to his son Lucien dated March 1, 1884, the artist wrote: "Yes, we’ve made up our minds on Éragny-sur-Epte. The house is superb and inexpensive: a thousand francs, with garden and meadow. It’s two hours from Paris. I found the region much more beautiful than Compiègne…Gisors is superb: we’d seen nothing!" (quoted in J. Pissarro & C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op. cit., p. 499). During the years spent in Éragny, Pissarro liked to alternate between urban and rural scenes. He often went to harbor cities like Rouen and Le Havre, to Paris where he met with friends as well as dealers, and to London, where he would visit his sons. Exhausted by frequent travels, the artist would return to the peace of Éragny, where he took joy in painting the garden and the meadow in front of his house, as well as the neighboring villages of Gisors and Bazincourt. 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" (J. Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, London, 1993, p. 225).

Prairie avec vaches, brume, soleil couchant à Éragny is painted in the neo-Impressionist divisionist style that Pissarro first displayed during the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition in 1886, and which he would develop over the following years. In Pissarro’s opinion, Impressionism was already waning in 1883. It was at this time that he embraced the Neo-Impressionist technique, under the influence of Seurat, who proclaimed Pissarro to be the first of the Impressionist painters to convert to the Neo-Impressionist style. The present work is a stunning example of Pissarro’s version of pointillism, using short, fragmented brushstrokes to capture the dazzling effect of a sunset over a meadow and to create vivid color contrasts between the bright setting sun, the dark trees already in the shadow and the bleached quality of the fog that envelops the cows grazing in the field.

Painted in 1891, the present work was exhibited at Durand-Ruel in Paris in January-February of the following year. In his review written for L’Estafette, the contemporary critic Clément Janin described the present work: "M. Pissarro hardly ever uses the brush any more, only the knife, not from haste, not from an inspired artist’s furia, but to give more scope to the dazzle of light in the compositions he paints. The asperities he multiplies serve to capture and trap the rays of light and when the sun shines forth the colors suddenly sparkle like a jeweller’s window. This is particularly discernible in this glorious sunset…where the ebbing daystar sinks like a luminous fire bomb into the jewel-like radiance of the west, behind a forest in its mourning weeds of dark amethyst, where the sapphire streaks of verdure drained of color—the reflections of expired joys—strew their coruscation" (C. Janin, quoted in J. Pissarro & C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op. cit., p. 596).

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