Camille Pissarro - Verger à Varengeville avec vache (Un clos à Varengeville)
Verger à Varengeville avec vache (Un clos à Varengeville)
Oil on canvas 46.5 x 55.3 cm Framed. Signed and dated 'C. Pissarro. 99' in black lower left.
In the mid-1880s Camille Pissarro and his family moved to the little village of Eragny-sur-Epte, to the north-west of Paris. This rural environment became the centre of his family's life and can be seen in his painted oeuvre in numerous landscape views as well as figural scenes in his home's garden. Nonetheless, Pissarro did not wish to miss out on the sources of inspiration offered by urban life. He repeatedly spent time temporarily staying in Paris and Rouen, where he created his famous cityscapes. The contrast between the magnificent architecture and bustling activity of the city and the serenity of country life defined his late work.
In 1899 the artist also first lived in Paris, where he worked on an extensive series of pictures featuring views of the Tuileries. In September of that year, on the other hand, he withdrew for several weeks to the tranquillity of the little village of Varengeville in Normandy. “Je suis installé à Varengeville, joli village à trente minutes de la mer, pays boisé rempli de motifs, des routes ombragées, pays de paysagiste, pas trop mal nourri, beaucoup de lait”, wrote Pissarro to his son Georges (cited in: Joachim Pissarro/Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro. Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris 2005. vol. III, p. 797). This stay resulted in nine paintings, including the present work, whose highly atmospheric motifs are lit by a clouded, late-summer sun and feature farmsteads, hedges and fruit orchards. Here Pissarro has used short, loose brushstrokes to depict the extremely varied nuances of green and brown which define this peaceful place. “Pissarro's mastery of playfully developing the effects of light - even beneath a cloudy sky or at twilight - also finds expression in the watercolours from this period. […] In his late works of the nineties, Pissarro adapted his means of expression to his subjects and not the reverse, and in this way he distanced himself from doctrinaire neo-impressionism. The landscape, nature represented a challenge which he accepted again and again, as though he were obsessed (Cézanne had referred to him as the 'acharné')” (Christoph Becker, in: Camille Pissarro, exh. cat. Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 1999/2000, p. 111).
Camille Pissarro's extraordinary importance for the development of modern painting is currently being demonstrated once again through the extensive survey exhibition “Camille Pissarro: Das Atelier der Moderne” now on display at the Kunstmuseum Basel.
Pissarro/Durand-Ruel Snollaerts 1293
Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (September 1905); Drouot, Paris, Auction 3 December 1910, lot 103; Private collection, Sweden; Alex Reid & Lefevre, London, probably acquired by the previous owner on 6 March 1967; J.E. Pearman, acquired on 13 October 1967 from the previous owner; Christie's New York, Auction Impressionist & Modern Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture, 11 May 1994, lot 110; Christie's New York, Auction Impressionist & Modern Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture, 8 November 1995, lot 131; Collection Corboud, long-term loan at Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Cologne (label on frame backing)
Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro/Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro: son art, son oeuvre, Paris 1939, no. 1083
Probably Paris 1908 (Galerie Bernheim-Jeune), Camille Pissarro, cat. no. 15; London 1967 (The Lefevre Gallery), XIXth and XXth Century French Paintings, cat. no. 15 with ill. (label on frame backing); Cologne/Lausanne 1997/1998 (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum/Fondation de l'Eremitage), Pointillisme: sur les traces de Seurat, cat. no. 104 (label on frame backing); Tokio/Hokkaido/Okayama/Nara (Tobu Museum of Art/Obihiro Museum of Art/Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art/Nara Prefectural Museum of Art), Monet, Renoir et les impressionistes, cat. no. 16 (label on frame backing); Cologne 2001 (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud), Miracle de la couleur, p. 436f.