Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ASIAN COLLECTION
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)

Canards sur l'étang de Montfoucault

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Canards sur l'étang de Montfoucault
signed 'C.Pissarro' (lower right)
oil on canvas
18 1/8 x 21 ¾ in. (46 x 55.2 cm.)
Painted circa 1874
Léon Orosdi, Paris; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 25 May 1923, lot 46.
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Jacques Dubourg, Paris, by whom acquired from the above on 6 October 1936.
Galerie de l'Élysée [Alex Maguy], Paris.
Mme Lipmann, Paris.
C.W. Boise, Kent; his estate sale, Sotheby's, London, 24 April 1968, lot 68.
Jack Josey, Houston, by whom acquired at the above sale, until circa 1980.
Lenoir M. Josey II, Houston, by descent from the above, until circa 1982.
Tor Arne Uppstrom, Oslo.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 2 December 1986, lot 16.
Private collection, Germany, by whom acquired at the above sale; sale, Christie's, New York, 9 November 2000, lot 124.
Richard Green, London, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Private collection, England, by whom acquired from the above in March 2001; sale, Christie's, London, 18 June 2007, lot 34.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
H. Lapauze, 'La Collection de Léon Orosdi', in La Renaissance, Paris, May 1923, p. 231 (illustrated).
A. Tabarant, Pissarro, Paris, 1924, p. 62 (illustrated pl. 17; titled 'La mare aux canards, Montfoucault').
L.R. Pissarro & L. Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art, son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1939, no. 318, p. 125 (illustrated vol. II, fig. 318, pl. 64; titled 'La mare aux canards à Montfoucault').
Apollo, vol. XCIX, no. 146, London, April 1974, p. 117 (illustrated; titled 'La Mare aux Canards à Montfoucault').
J. Pissarro & C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro: Catalogue critique des peintures, vol. II, Paris, 2005, no. 373, pp. 89-90 & 284 (illustrated p. 284).
Paris, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Les peintres de l'eau, December 1923 - January 1924, no. 40.
London, The Leicester Galleries, Paintings by Sisley, Renoir, Pissarro, Monet, Boudin, Cassatt, April - May 1936, no. 19, p. 10 (titled 'La mare au canard (Montfoucault)').
New York, Hammer Galleries, Decades of Light: Early Modern French Painting 1870-1910, October 1980, n.p. (illustrated; titled 'La Mare au Canards à Montfoucault').
Chicago, Maurice Sternberg Galleries, March 1982, n.p. (illustrated; titled 'La Mare aux Canards à Montfoucault').
Amarillo, Texas, Art Center, Early French Moderns: The Genesis of the Modern Era, August - November 1982, no. 6, n.p. (illustrated; titled 'La Mare Aux Canards').
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU or, if the UK has withdrawn from the EU without an agreed transition deal, from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Keith Gill
Keith Gill

Lot Essay

A quintessentially Impressionist scene, Canards sur l'étang de Montfoucault dates from a period of intensive experimentation of both rural imagery and artistic style in Camille Pissarro’s early career. This picturesque view depicts the pond that lay at the entrance of Montfoucault, an isolated, rural hamlet in northern France, situated on the edge of Normandy and Brittany. Invited by his close friend and fellow artist, Ludovic Piette, to stay at his home there, Pissarro and his family made frequent visits to Montfoucault, an area the artist described as, ‘the true countryside’. Thanks to Piette’s enduring friendship and quiet generosity, between 1864 and 1876 the Pissarros stayed six times, often at difficult points in their lives, including during the Franco-Prussian war and following the disheartening reception of the First Impressionist exhibition of 1874, finding in the isolated, picturesque village a welcome escape and respite.

It was his three successive visits to Montfoucault in the autumn and winter months of 1874, 1875 and 1876 that saw Pissarro reassess his approach to painting, considering new styles and themes. Piette's small farm with its own enclosed fields and the nearby pond gave a structure to the rural imagery Pissarro began to paint, which increasingly included peasant figures. In a letter to the French writer and collector Théodore Duret in December 1874, Pissarro reported on his pictorial research in Montfoucault: ‘I have started working on figures and animals. I have several projects of genre painting. I am timidly experimenting with this branch of art, so much illustrated by first-rank artists: this is rather bold’ (Pissarro, quoted in J. Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1993, p.146). At this time the artist also began to apply paint more generously, creating rich surfaces filled with myriad brushstrokes of often unmixed and increasingly bright colour. In the present work, Pissarro has used dense, broad strokes of paint to capture the verdant foliage, as well as the multi-hued play of light and reflections on the water of the pond, all bathed under a warm, golden, early autumnal light.

Canards sur l'étang de Montfoucault was originally owned by Léon Orosdi, a passionate collector of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pictures with a notable collection of Sisleys. In his home on the rue Cimarosa in Paris, Orosdi exhibited his extensive collection, which also included works by Monet, Courbet and Pissarro, among others.

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