Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)

La marchande de marrons, foire de la St. Martin, Pontoise

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
La marchande de marrons, foire de la St. Martin, Pontoise
signed and dated 'C. Pissarro 81' (lower right)
gouache on silk mounted on board
15½ x 18½ in. (39 x 47 cm.)
Painted in 1881
Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris.
Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris (acquired from the above, 18 December 1889).
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York.
Erwin Davis.
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (acquired from the above, 15 May 1901).
Mr. and Mrs. Morris W. Haft, New York and Palm Beach (acquired from the above, 1 February 1945); sale, Trosby Galleries, Palm Beach, 9 February 1965, lot 9.
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. 268, no. 1348 (illustrated, vol. II, pl. 263).
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Camille Pissarro, November-December 1903, no. 18.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), January-February 1916, no. 5.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Pastels, April 1923, no. 23.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Pissarro and Sisley, December 1928, no. 8.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Pastels and Gouaches by Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro, January 1932, no. 12.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Pastels and Gouaches by Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, Cassatt, April-May 1935.
Sale room notice
Please note the correct dimensions for this lot are 18½ x 15½ in. (39 x 47 cm.).

Lot Essay

In 1872, Camille Pissarro left the small village of Louveciennes and moved his family to Pontoise where they would live for the next ten years. Twenty-five miles north-west of Paris, Pontoise offered Pissarro with a multitude of vistas which combined the surrounding countryside with the modern industrial environment of the town. As Joachim Pissarro has written:

In contrast to Louveciennes, a village of a few hundred inhabitants, Pontoise had a population of several thousand... Pissarro's new home had a rich variety of architecture that reflected superimposed layers of history, which, along with the ceaseless activity of its budding industry and the railway linking it to the capital, presented the painter with a varied and complex range of subjects. (J. Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1993, pp. 88-89)

Unlike previous works where Pissarro carefully balanced the ever increasing intrusion of modernity with broad vistas of the countryside, the present work directly confronts the bustling center of suburban expansion. In the 1880s, Pissarro began to make the figure the focus of his paintings and in doing so, creating a far more intricate composition than was customary for him.

More than any other Impressionist, and probably more than any artist since Courbet and Millet, Pissarro understood the hard life of the peasant, and he celebrated its virtues without romanticizing their toil. Indeed, Pissarro envisioned his vocation as an artist as analogous to the unrelenting routine of the peasant; there was the need to apply oneself through determination and discipline, to understand the rhythms of nature and to undertake each task in its proper time. Pissarro's approach to creativity was not that of the isolated and brooding genius; instead, he saw himself as a member of a community of like-minded individuals working toward a common goal.


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