Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Property from the Collection of Herbert and Adele Klapper
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)

Le jardin de Maubuisson, vu vers la côte Saint-Denis, Pontoise

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Le jardin de Maubuisson, vu vers la côte Saint-Denis, Pontoise
signed and dated ‘C. Pissarro. 1876’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
23 ½ x 28 ¾ in. (59.6 x 73 cm.)
Painted in 1876
Jean Boyer, Paris.
Trifol collection, Paris.
Galerie Cazeau-Béraudière, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the late owners, 22 May 1998.
J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro: Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, p. 340, no. 477 (illustrated in color).
New York, Beadleston Gallery, Inc., The Herbert J. & Adele Klapper Collection, May 2002, no. 21 (illustrated in color).

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Max Carter
Max Carter

Lot Essay

Pissarro painted this complex, carefully considered canvas on a clear autumn day in 1876, setting up his easel in the cluster of kitchen gardens known collectively as the Jardin de Maubuisson, which lay just behind his house at L’Hermitage on the eastern outskirts of Pontoise. The trees had lost all but their last few leaves, and their bare branches here form an elaborate decorative screen across the foreground of the image. The cabbage crop in the middle distance appears plump and ready for harvest; the grassy hill in the left background is the côte Saint-Denis, which rose just to the north of this quarter.
The historically agrarian community of L’Hermitage was in the process of modernizing during the period that Pissarro lived there. In the early 1860s, a long, straight road, the rue de l’Hermitage, had been cut through the center of the hamlet, leading to the neighboring village of Ennery. By the end of the decade, this characteristically Second Empire lane was lined with cafés, shops, gas street lamps, and sizable bourgeois homes, one of which Pissarro and his family occupied from October 1873 onward. The remainder of L’Hermitage, in contrast, retained its resolutely traditional character. Small houses clustered together at the base of hillsides, abutting winding country paths, while the majority of the land was given over to a dense patchwork of barnyards and kitchen gardens, the latter tended laboriously by hand throughout the year.
Of all the many corners of this densely packed landscape, the Jardin de Maubuisson was one that Pissarro especially favored. He exhibited an ambitious, panoramic view of the motif at the Salon of 1868, inspiring effusive praise from Zola—“What living earth, what greenery bursting with vitality!” (J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, no. 115). In 1876-1878, he created a sequence of closer, more intimate views of the site (nos. 440, 493-494, and 577); Cézanne joined him there to paint on at least one occasion (Rewald, no. 311). In the present canvas, Pissarro’s principal interest is the formal contrast between the spreading, organic forms of the trees and the compact, rectilinear geometry of the slate-roofed cottages on the rue du Haut de l’Hermitage.

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