1830-1903 | French
Route Enneigée avec maison, environs d'Éragny
Signed and dated "C. Pissarro 1885" (lower left)
Oil on canvas
Brilliant white snow enlivens this wintertime landscape by the great French Impressionist Camille Pissarro. Entitled Route Enneigée avec maison, environs d'Éragny, the work is part of a long tradition of winter landscapes in the history of Impressionist art. Snowscapes by Pissarro, as well as his contemporaries Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley, are among the very best works created by these great masters of Western art. Pissarro triumphs in his depiction of the play of light over snow and the crisp atmosphere of the winter air, and this example clearly demonstrates the artist's legendary eye for color, light and atmosphere. Other wintertime scenes by Pissarro can be found in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid) and the Musée d'Orsay (Paris), among others.
Route Enneigée avec maison, environs d'Éragny was created at a time in Pissarro's career when he was first beginning to experiment with Pointillism, and the briefest hints of the radical style can be seen in the oil on canvas. The bold brushwork and strong contrast between colors are both indicators of the stylistic change that is about to emerge in the artist's repertoire. The work is also among the last he would create en plein air for a brief period when he moved into the studio to conduct his exploration of the Pointillist technique.
Born in St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies, Pissarro was sent to school in Paris at the age of 11, where he first displayed a talent for drawing. In 1855, having convinced his parents of his determination to pursue a career as an artist rather than work in the family shipping business, he returned to Paris where he studied at the Académie Suisse alongside Claude Monet. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Pissarro moved to England. With Monet, he painted a series of landscapes around South-East London and studied English landscape painters in the museums. When he returned home to Louveciennes a year later, Camille discovered that all but 40 of the 1500 paintings he had left there - almost 20 years of work - had been vandalized.
In 1872, Camille settled in Pontoise where he remained for the next 10 years, gathering a close circle of friends around him. Gauguin was among the many artists to visit him there, and Cézanne, who lived nearby, came for long periods to work and learn. In 1874, Pissarro participated in the first Impressionist exhibition and became the only painter to exhibit in all eight of their shows. His revolutionary approach to painting and thought-provoking compositions had a profound effect on his contemporaries and the entire future of modern art. Today, his work can be found in many of the most important museums and private collections throughout the world.
Canvas: 12 7/8" high x 16" wide
Frame: 22" high x 24 5/8" wide
Impressionists in Winter, Effets de neige, London, Royal Academy of Art; Washington, D.C., Phillips Collection & San Francisco, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, 1998-99, no. 45, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Pissarro, Catalogue Critique des Peintures, vol. II, Paris 2005, by J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, p. 517, no. 784 (illustrated)
Dr. Störe, Zurich
Kunstsalon Orell Fussli-Hof, Zurich, November 26, 1927, lot 201
Hans Wirth, Siebnen, 1927
Private collection, Switzerland, 1954
Private collection, USA, by 1998