Louveciennes, a charming village located ten miles west of Paris, in the lush Seine valley near Versailles and the Forest of Marly, is often described as the "cradle of Impressionism." Louveciennes and its surrounding area attracted a number of artists who often painted its environs. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were painting in the area when Pissarro arrived there in 1869. Alfred Sisley would join them two years later. Pissarro settled his family in Louveciennes between Spring 1869 and August 1872, with an interlude first in Montfoucault and then in London where he was forced to take refuge during the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. Pissarro sought a new tonality in his work during the years he spent in Louveciennes. He created a more direct and honest depiction of the view before him, painting en plein air in order to capture the true impression of the world he observed.
All four of these artists began to show an increasing interest in light, color and atmosphere as they were related to the times of the day and the changing seasons. Pissarro described himself at this time as feeling the elation of reaching a peak of discovery. He wrote to his son Lucien in April 1895, "I remember that, although I was full of ardor, I didn't conceive, even at forty, the deeper side of the movement we followed instinctively. It was in the air!" (quoted in J. Rewald, ed., Camille Pissarro, Letters to his son Lucien, New York, 1943, p. 265).
The critic Théodore Duret commented on Pissarro's work from Louveciennes: "In certain ways Pissarro is a realist [yet he] is not a realist to the extreme point where, as with some other artists, he sees nothing in nature but its real and external aspect, and remains oblivious to nature's soul and its intimate dimension. On the contrary, he endows his slightest canvases with a feeling of life" (quoted in J. Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1993, p. 58).