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    Sale 12071

    Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

    13 May 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1328

    Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)

    Dans le bois de l'Hermitage

    Price Realised  


    Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
    Dans le bois de l'Hermitage
    signed and dated 'C. Pissarro. 77' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    21 ¾ x 18 ¼ in. (55.2 x 46.4 cm.)
    Painted in 1877

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    In Dans le bois de l’Hermitage, painted in 1877, Pissarro deftly renders the lush flora around Pontoise, a hilltop town indelibly associated with the artist. Pontoise, as the name implies, lies in a commanding position on the banks of the Oise, at the edge of the Vexin plateau nineteen miles northwest of Paris. Pissarro had lived in Pontoise between October 1866 and January 1869, and he returned in April 1872. The ensuing decade that the artist spent there was one of the most prolific periods in his career, during which he fully developed his Impressionist technique. His sustained focus on Pontoise and its environs resulted in over three hundred paintings and represents the most enduring portrait of a particular locale by any French painter during the Impressionist period. Dans le bois de l’Hermitage depicts a clear day in the forest of L'Hermitage, a rural neighborhood on the outskirts of town. The canvas was painted at the apex of Pissarro's career as an Impressionist landscape painter. Christopher Lloyd and Anne Distel have described Pissarro's work from this period as “the most purely Impressionist in [his] entire oeuvre” (Pissarro, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 1980, p. 79).
    Pissarro's work from Pontoise also had a profound influence upon a whole generation of painters, notably Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, who came to the Oise valley to work alongside the older artist (fig. 1). Cézanne later referred to Pissarro as “the first Impressionist,” and proclaimed, “We may all descend from Pissarro” (quoted in B.E. White, Impressionists Side by Side, New York, 1996, p. 109). The two artists had worked together in a relationship of intense collaboration between 1872 and 1877 (fig. 1). As a result, Pissarro's painting became more assertive and his handling more forceful. The broader brushstroke is convincingly realized in the present work, and Pissarro has paid particular attention to enriching the painted surface with a stippling effect in the trees and verdant border. In composition and technique, the present canvas exemplifies the very best of Pissarro's work from this celebrated epoch.

    (fig. 1) Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne in the garden at Pontoise, circa 1877.


    Estate of the artist.
    Paul-Emile Pissarro, Paris (by descent from the above).
    Galerie Nathan, Zurich (circa 1949).
    The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), London (acquired from the above, December 1958).
    Henrik Nordmark, Stockholm (acquired from the above, March 1959).
    Acquired by the family of the present owner, 1978.


    L.R. Pissarro and L. Venturi, Camille Pissarro, Son artson oeuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, p. 140, no. 420 (illustrated, vol. II, pl. 85).
    J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, p. 364, no. 521 (illustrated).


    Paris, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Exposition rétrospective d'oeuvres de Camille Pissarro, January-February 1914, no. 73.
    Paris, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Pissarro et ses fils, November-December 1934, no. 7.
    Paris, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Les premières époques de Camille Pissarro, de 1858 à 1884, May-June 1936, no. 28.
    Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Huinck & Scherjon, Nederlandsche en Fransche Kunst, May-June 1937, no. 22.