signed C. Pissarro and dated 1900 (lower right)
Georges Manzana-Pissarro, Paris (the artist's son)
Hugo Simon, Berlin & Paris
Galerie Durand-Ruel, New York (acquired from the above on 17th June 1926)
Sam Salz, New York (acquired from the above on 1st November 1943)
Mrs. Carroll Carstairs, New York (acquired from the above on 3rd February 1944. Sold: Parke-Bernet, New York, 17th May 1945, lot 51)
Knoedler & Co., New York & Sam Salz, New York (jointly purchased at the above sale)
Sam Salz, New York (acquired on 6th October 1945)
Vladimir Horowitz, New York (acquired from the above on 21st February 1946)
Paul Rosenberg, Paris (acquired circa 1950)
Marlborough Fine Art, London (acquired from the above in 1961)
Mr & Mrs Alexander M. Laughlin, New York (acquired from the above in 1967)
Galerie Castiglione, Paris
Norbet Nusser, Munich (acquired circa 1976. Sold: Christie's, New York, 12th May 1993, lot 7)
Acquavella Galleries, New York (purchased at the above sale)
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1993)
Acquired from the above by the present owner
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by the Impressionists, 1926, no. 15
Rochester, New York, Memorial Art Gallery, 1927
Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, French Impressionist Paintings, 1927, no. 11
Philadelphia, The Art Club, 1928
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Pissarro and Sisley, 1928
Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College, 1929
Kansas City, The William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, The Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, French Impressionist Landscape Painting, 1936
New York, Durand-Ruel & Knoedler Galleries, Loan Exhibition-Paintings of London and Paris for the Benefit of the British War Relief Society, 1940, no. 5
New York, Carroll Carstairs Galleries, Paintings of Paris by Camille Pissarro, 1944, no. 4, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Carroll Carstairs Galleries, Six Impressionists, 1945, no. 2
New York, Wildenstein & Company, Camille Pissarro: His Place in Art, 1945, no. 42
New York, Paul Rosenberg, 19th and 20th Century French Paintings, 1950
London, Marlborough Fine Art, French Landscapes, 1961, no. 32, illustrated in the catalogue
London, Marlborough Fine Art, A Great Period of French Painting: An Exhibition Held in Memory of the Late Miss Clarica Davidson, 1963, no. 29, illustrated in the catalogue
London, Marlborough Fine Art, 19th and 20th Century Masters, 1966, no. 26, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
London, The Lefevre Gallery, Important XIXth and XXth Century Paintings, 1973, no. 14, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Paris - London, 1975, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
The New York Times, 16th December 1928, mentioned p.14
Ludovic R. Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro: son art son œuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, no. 1129, catalogued p. 238; vol. II, no. 1129, illustrated pl. 224
Art News, 15th-30th April 1945, illustrated p. 3
C.Z. Offin (ed.), Pictures on Exhibit, 1950, vol. XII, no. 8, illustrated p. 41
Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro Critical Catalogue of Paintings, Paris, 2005, vol. III, no. 1318, illustrated in colour p. 814
A panoramic view of the Pavillon de Flore, resplendent in the morning light, is the subject of this spectacular composition from the spring of 1900. The present work belongs to a series of canvases in which Pissarro depicted the environs of the Tuileries Gardens, which he could see from the unobstructed view of his rented apartment at 204 rue de Rivoli (fig. 1). It was here that Pissarro painted fourteen views of the city garden between November 1899 and May 1900, and the present work is the final and most ambitious example from this series. The scene here is set in late spring, just as the garden was reaching full bloom. Fresh air sweeps across the plaza, rustling the branches of the trees and shrubbery in the foreground. Beyond the trees we see the Louvre's imposing Denon wing with its distinctive mansard roof, and on the horizon is the embankment of the Seine river.
From a letter to his son Lucien dated 4th December 1898, we can sense the excitement Pissarro must have felt as he describes the view from his window: 'We have engaged an flat at 204 rue de Rivoli, facing the Tuileries, with a superb view of the garden, the Louvre to the left, in the background the houses on the quais behind the trees, to the right the Dôme des Invalides, the steeples of Ste. Clothilde behind the solid mass of chestnut trees. It is very beautiful. I shall paint a fine series' (quoted in Pissarro (exhibition catalogue), Hayward Gallery, London, 1980, p. 146).
Pissarro's studio in the heart of the capital afforded him the luxury of viewing the cityscape at different times of the day and subjected to varying weather conditions. The paintings that he produced while residing there are among the most nuanced and temporally sophisticated of Impressionist art. Moving from one window to the next, he studied the dynamic urban landscape from three slightly different vantage points, all of which are portrayed in his series of the Tuileries: a frontal view, showing the Bassins des Tuileries (fig. 2), a view of the Louvre's Pavillon de Flore and the southern Denon wing in the background and, moving eastwards, a view of the Pavillon de Marsan to the left, with Jardin du Carrousel in the centre and the Denon wing in the distance.
The compositional basis for this work is found in the vertical, horizontal and circular patterns of the Tuileries, originally designed by André Le Nôtre in the second half of the seventeenth century. Writing about this series, Joachim Pissarro observed that the Tuileries series 'offered a chance to study the interaction of the rectangular and the circular. A succession of rectangles are seen interlocked with each other: the anciens jardins réservés lead into the Jardin du Carrousel and to the Place du Carrousel, and the Cour Napoléon through the Arc du Carrousel. These rectangles stretching along the Seine and confined between the Allée des Orangers and the Terrasse du Bord de l'Eau are offset by circular structures: the Grand Bassin rond or the other smaller bassins, as well as by strong cruciform or orthogonal structures, which confer on these views a solid, architectonic strength. These structures are themselves counterbalanced by foliage or entangled branches. The marvellously symmetrical layout of the Gardens was fragmented, disrupted and pluralised in Pissarro's paintings of them' (J. Pissarro, in The Impressionist and the City (exhibition catalogue), The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1992, p. 104).
Among the private collectors who have had the privilege of owning this painting was Vladimir Horowitz, a Russian-born classical musician and arguably the most accomplished concert pianist of the 20th century. Horowitz's playing was renowned for its distinctive timbre, emotion and expressive tonality, most readily apparent in his broadcast renditions of Chopin's piano sonatas. It is therefore fitting that the present work, a visual example of temporal nuance, once shared a home with the legendary performer.
Fig. 1, The Tuileries Gardens with Pavillon de Flore seen from the flat at 204 Rue de Rivoli
Fig. 2, Camille Pissarro, Le jardin des Tuileries, après-midi, soleil, 1900, oil on canvas, Suntory Museum, Osaka
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