Lot 23
  • 23

CAMILLE PISSARRO | Le Pont-Royal, après-midi, temps couvert

1,200,000 - 1,800,000 GBP
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  • Camille Pissarro
  • Le Pont-Royal, après-midi, temps couvert
  • signed C. Pissarro and dated 1903 (lower left)
  • oil on canvas
  • 50.7 by 65cm.
  • 20 by 25 5/8 in.
  • Painted in 1903.


Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the above on 29th November 1917)

Duval-Fleury, Paris (acquired from the above on 25th March 1918)

Philippe Bemberg, Lausanne & Paris (acquired circa 1964) Private Collection (by descent from the above. Sold: Sotheby’s, Paris, 23rd March 2018, lot 204)

Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Copenhagen, Charlottenborg, Fransk Malerkunst, 1918, no. 191, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Le Pont Royal, Paris. Après-midi, temps gris)

Lausanne, Palais de Beaulieu, Chefs-d'œuvre des collections suisses de Manet à Picasso, 1964, no. 56, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Le Pont Royal, après-midi, temps gris)

Paris, Hôtel de Ville, Paris sous le ciel de la peinture, 2000, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (titled Pont Royal, après-midi de pluie, temps gris)


Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art - son œuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, no. 1294, catalogued p. 260; vol. II, no. 1294, illustrated pl. 251 (titled Pont Royal, après-midi, temps gris)

John Rewald, C. Pissarro, Paris, 1974, no. 48, illustrated (incorrectly captioned) Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Pissarro et Paris, Paris, 1992, illustrated p. 127 (titled Pont Royal, après-midi, temps gris)

Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. III, no. 1487, illustrated in colour p. 900

Catalogue Note

In 1897 Pissarro returned to Paris once more to dedicate his time to capturing the essence of modern life in the city. Although he had settled in the village of Eragny in Normandy in 1884 to paint the tranquillity of the French countryside, many of his pastoral scenes from this time in fact include figures, demonstrating Pissarro’s unwavering interest in the relationship between man and his environment. This curiosity brought Pissarro back to the bustling boulevards and lively cafés of the capital and led to his last and most celebrated series of Paris cityscapes. Beginning with the Gare Saint-Lazare in 1897, Pissarro’s depictions of Paris swiftly moved on to the Boulevard Montmartre and the Boulevard des Italiens. The following year, he painted a series of views of the Avenue de l’Opéra and the Jardins des Tuileries before painting the nearby Square du Vert-Galant and the Pont Neuf. Each time the artist would stay in a hotel room or rent an apartment allowing him to paint from his window and repeat the motif in different variations reflecting the changing light, weather or season. Le Pont-Royal, après-midi, temps couvert belongs to his fourth and final series created from the artist’s room at the Hôtel du Quai Voltaire on the left bank, overlooking the Pont Royal and the Jardins des Tuileries. A closely related painting from the same year, Le Pont-Royal et le pavillon de Flore, temps gris now in the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris shows the same scene from a slightly different angle on the Quai Voltaire including the south-west end of the Louvre (fig. 1).

From the artist’s position in his apartment we are offered a higher viewpoint than at street level. It creates a broad field of vision in which Pissarro was able to observe and capture the constant flow of city life. Pedestrians and carriages are captured with hurried brushstrokes emphasising the dynamic movement of the metropolis. The richly painted sky in the upper half of the canvas beautifully illustrates Pissarro’s appreciation of texture and brushwork and its ability to convey liberty, spontaneity and the sense of freshness that were key to the artist’s œuvre.