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    Sale 2164

    Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale

    6 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 13

    Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)

    La cueillette des pommes

    Price Realised  

    Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
    La cueillette des pommes
    signed and dated 'C. Pissarro. 81' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    25½ x 23 3/8 in. (64.8 x 54.3 cm.)
    Painted in 1881


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    The early 1880s, when La cueillette des pommes was painted, was a critical period of transition for Pissarro. His landscape production, so characteristic of the 1870s, dwindled in favor of monumental figure paintings. At the same time, his brushwork evolved toward uniformly small, evenly distributed, and carefully controlled touches of paint, closer to Cézanne's constructivist stroke than to the free, painterly handling of the Impressionist idiom. Finally, his technical practice became more complex, involving greater studio work and increased preparatory drawing, and he began a series of works in other media, including watercolors, gouaches, and prints. Richard Brettell describes the early 1880s as "the most extensive period of pictorial experimentation in Pissarro's career," and concludes, "All of these varied interests suggest a fundamental questioning of the kind of painting normally associated with Impressionism, the plein-air sketch, and a more complicated, highly mediated relationship with 'reality' than a simple optical one. For Pissarro in this period, a simple equation between seeing and representing was both undesirable and impossible" (Pissarro and Pontoise: The Painter in a Landscape, New Haven, 1990, p. 184).

    Pissarro's paintings from this period have often been compared with those of Millet, the painter of peasants par excellence. In a review of the 1882 Impressionist exhibition, Ernest Chesneau declared, "Since Millet, no one has observed and depicted the peasant with such powerful vigor and with such accurate and personal vision" (quoted in J. Pissarro, op. cit., p. 156). Other contemporary critics, however, disagreed. J.-K. Huysmans, for example, wrote in 1882, "Pissarro exhibits an entire series of peasant men and women, and once again this painter shows himself to us in a new light. Pissarro has entirely detached himself from Millet's memory. He paints his country people without false grandeur, simply as he sees them. His little girls in their red stockings, his old woman wearing a kerchief, his shepherdesses and laundresses, his peasant girls cutting hay or eating, are all true small masterpieces" (quoted in ibid., p. 157). Pissarro himself also eschewed the comparison to Millet, writing to his son Lucien, "It is the same for my peasants, which people used to say are done à la Millet. People have since realized their mistake" (quoted in ibid., p. 157).

    Provenance

    Julie Pissarro, Eragny (by descent from the artist, 1904).
    Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris.
    Galerie Thannhauser, Lucerne.
    Josef Stransky, New York (by 1933).
    Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York (acquired from the above, circa 1936).
    Robert Wallis (acquired from the above, 1944).
    Jacques Lindon, New York.
    Acquired from the above by Evelyn Annenberg Jaffe Hall, 1950.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Family of Evelyn Annenberg Jaffe Hall


    Literature

    M. Hamel, "Camille Pissarro: Exposition rétrospective de ses oeuvres," Les Arts, March 1914, p. 30.
    R. Allard, "Les arts plastiques: Camille Pissarro," Les Écrits français, 5 March 1914, pp. 64-66.
    P.B.C. "The Stransky Collection of Modern Art," Bulletin of the Worcester Art Museum, winter 1933, vol. XXIII, no. 4, pp. 152-153.
    L.-R. Pissarro and L. Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art - son oeuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, p. 158, no. 545 (illustrated, vol. II, pl. 112).
    J. Rewald, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Paris, 1954 (illustrated in color, pl. 30).
    M. Stein, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Copenhagen, 1955 (illustrated in color, pl. 30).
    J. Rewald, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1963, p. 124 (illustrated in color, p. 125).
    J. Rewald, Pissarro, Paris, 1970, no. 30 (illustrated in color).
    J. Rewald, Camille Pissarro, New York and Paris, 1989, p. 124, no. 30 (illustrated in color, p. 125).
    J. Rewald, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1989, p. 98 (illustrated in color, p. 99).
    J. Rewald, Camille Pissarro, London, 1991, pp. 94, 98, 104, 110 (illustrated in color, p. 99).
    J. Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York and London, 1993, pp. 194 and 217 (illustrated in color, p. 196, no. 230).
    M. Ward, Pissarro, Neo-Impressionism and the Spaces of the Avant-Garde, Chicago and London, 1996, p. 279.
    J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, p. 440, no. 659 (illustrated in color).


    Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Exposition rétrospective d'oeuvres de Camille Pissarro, January-February 1914, no. 61.
    The Toledo Museum of Art, Paintings by French Impressionist and Post-Impressionists, November-December 1937, no. 21.
    New York, Wildenstein & Co., Inc., The Pleasures of Summer, July-August 1943, no. 13.