• Impressionist/Modern Day Sale  auction at Christies

    Sale 2313

    Impressionist/Modern Day Sale

    5 May 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 329

    Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)

    Verger à Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône en hiver

    Price Realised  


    Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
    Verger à Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône en hiver
    signed and dated 'C. Pissarro. 1877' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    18 3/8 x 22 in. (46.7 x 55.9 cm.)
    Painted in 1877

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Camille Pissarro moved his family back to Pontoise, located in the northwest of Paris, in August 1872 where he had previously lived from 1867 to 1869. In the interim period he had lived in Louveciennes and visited London, but the poor sales of his paintings put severe financial constraints on him, and he hoped that Pontoise would again provide him with a favorable setting for his work. For the next ten years Pissarro's life and work would become closely linked to the town. He painted more than three hundred pictures of it and its surrounding countryside. These canvases pay homage to the rural solitude that also attracted Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin who came there to work with him in 1877, the same year that Verger à Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône en hiver was painted. The paintings he produced during his years in Pontoise "form what is probably the most sustained portrait of a place painted by any French landscape painter in the nineteenth century" (R. Bretell, Pissarro and Pontoise: The Painter in a Landscape, New Haven, 1990, p. 1).

    The orchard was a motif that Pissarro painted repeatedly during different seasons and in varying weather conditions. As Christoph Becker notes: "In the eyes of Pissarro's own contemporaries, the explosive quality of these works lay precisely in their rejection both of complex themes and of traditionally practiced techniques" ("Camille Pissarro, Impressionist Artist," Camille Pissarro, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1999, p. 77). In Verger à Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône en hiver he depicts the buildings of the village as seen through barren branches, and the composition follows a formula that is representative of his oeuvre from these years. The trees and the steeple of the Church of Notre-Dame create strong verticals that contrast with the horizontals of the landscape. To provide a focal point and enliven the composition, Pissarro added the single asymmetrical form of the tree in the foreground. The deft application of vivid color underscores the sense of immediacy to the scene. In his defense of the Impressionists following their third exhibition in 1877, the art critic Théodore Duret wrote: "[Pissarro is] the one in whose work one finds in the most accentuated manner the point of view of the purely naturalistic painters. He sees nature in simplifying it and through its most permanent aspect. His canvases communicate to the highest degree the sensation of space and of solidity; they set free an impression of melancholy" (quoted in J. Rewald, Pissarro, New York, 1989, p. 86).


    Eugène Leroux, Paris (acquired from the artist, circa 1877).
    Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris (acquired from the above, May 1899).
    Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris.
    Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (until 1935).
    Maurice Coutot, Paris; sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 22 November 1987, lot 379.
    Alain Delon, Paris; sale, Christie's, London, 2 April 1990, lot 17.
    Galerie Urban, Paris (acquired at the above sale).
    Anon. sale, Phillips, New York, 11 May 2000, lot 5.
    Anon. (acquired at the above sale); sale, Christie's, New York, 7 November 2001, lot 114.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.


    L.R. Pissarro and L. Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art--son oeuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, p. 134, no. 382 (vol. II; illustrated, pl. 77; titled Un verger à Pontoise en hiver).
    J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, p. 344, no. 485 (illustrated in color).


    London, Grafton Galleries, Pictures by Boudin, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, January-February 1905, no. 195 (titled Eragny sur Ept).
    Pontoise, Musée Pissarro, Pontoise du XVIIe à la fin du XIXe siècle, May-September 1988, no. 1 (illustrated on the cover).
    New York, The Jewish Museum, Camille Pissarro, Impressions of a City and Country, September 2007-February 2008, pp. 45 and 78 (illustrated in color, pl. 15).