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

La sente des Pouilleux, Pontoise

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
La sente des Pouilleux, Pontoise
signed and dated ‘C. Pissarro 1878’ (lower left)
oil on canvas
28 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (73 x 60.2 cm.)
Painted in 1878
Eugène Murer, Auvers-sur-Oise, by whom acquired circa 1879.
Dr Georges Viau, Paris; his sale, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 21-22 March 1907, lot 57.
Ambroise Vollard, Paris, by whom acquired circa 1937.
Schoneman Galleries, Inc., New York.
Acquired from the above by the family of the late owner on 24 July 1953.
L.R. Pissarro & L. Venturi, Camille Pissarro, Son art - son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1939, no. 441 (illustrated vol. II, pl. 89).
L. Doeser, The Life and Works of Pissarro, New York, 1994, p. 39 (illustrated p. 38; titled 'The Path of the Wretched').
R. Berson, The New Painting: Impressionism (1874-1886), San Francisco, 1996, vol. II, no. IV-187, p. 118 (illustrated p. 138; titled 'Petit Bois (Poules et canards)'.
J. Pissarro & C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, no. 578, p. 391 (illustrated).
Paris, 28 Avenue de l’Opéra, The Fourth Impressionist Exhibition, April - May 1879, no. 187, p. 14 (titled 'Petit bois, poules et canards').
Geneva, Musée Rath, Trésors des collections romandes (Écoles étrangères), June - October 1954, no. 108, p. 25.
Bern, Kunstmuseum, Camille Pissarro, January - March 1957, no. 49, p. 14.
Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheiligen, Die Welt des Impressionismus, June - September 1963, no. 92.
Lausanne, Fondation de l’Hermitage, L’Impressionnisme dans les collections Romandes, June - October 1984, no. 62, pp. 163-164 (illustrated).
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Lot Essay

Dating from the peak of the impressionist movement, La sente des Pouilleux, Pontoise exemplifies the distinctive style, subject matter and compositional motifs that have come to define Camille Pissarro’s pioneering form of Impressionism. Painted in 1878, La sente des Pouilleux, Pontoise was included in the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition held the following year. At around the time of the exhibition, the painting was bought by the novelist and pastry chef Eugène Murer, who supported Pissarro and the nascent Impressionist group by buying their works and hanging them in his home and restaurant, promoting them to his regular guests. Following this, La sente des Pouilleux, Pontoise entered into the collection of another important impressionist patron, Dr Georges Viau, a dentist who amassed a number of works by many of the leading artists of this group.

Depicting a rustic farmhouse seen through a veil of ascendant trees, La sente des Pouilleux, Pontoise presents a quotidian, rural scene of Pontoise, the small rural town in the Île de France where Pissarro was living at this time. The specific location of the title – Les Pouilleux – appears in two other oils (Pissarro & Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, nos. 328 & 666), however this exact site has never been identified. Like Cézanne and Aix, or Monet and Argenteuil, Pissarro’s name is now inseparable from Pontoise. He painted the countryside here with a constant enthusiasm; indeed perhaps no other painter depicted one locale as much as Pissarro portrayed Pontoise. The bank of trees that cover the width of the composition partially obscure the houses behind, simultaneously concealing and revealing the subject of the painting. This compositional device was one of Pissarro’s favourites and appears frequently in his work of the late 1870s, allowing him to create landscapes with often unusual viewpoints or unexpected perspectives, such as the present work.

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