Camille Pissarro (French, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830–1903 Paris)
Oil on canvas
32 x 25 5/8 in. (81.3 x 65.1 cm)
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Bernhard Gift, 1960
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 820
By the time of Pissarro’s fourth visit to Rouen in 1898, he was "already familiar with the motifs there." The artist depicted many of the same cityscapes that he had tackled previously, but also scouted out new scenes, such as this one. On August 19, he wrote to his son Lucien: "Yesterday I found an excellent place from which I can paint the rue de l'Épicerie and even the market, a really interesting one, which takes place every Friday." Pissarro painted the view three times, but the Metropolitan's picture is the only one that shows the market in progress.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): C.Pissarro. / 1898
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1898–1900; bought from the artist on October 21, 1898, for Fr 1,500; sold on March 21, 1900, for Fr 5,000, to Bernard]; Louis Bernard [Monsieur L. B.], Paris (1900–1901; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 11, 1901, no. 47, as "Rue de l'Épicerie, à Rouen, for Fr 8,000 to Leclanché); Maurice Leclanché, Paris (1901–d. 1921; his estate, 1921–24; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 6, 1924, no. 62, as "La rue de l'Épicerie, à Rouen," for Fr 83,000 to Savard); Auguste Savard, Paris (1924–39/40; sold through an intermediary to Varenne); Roger Varenne, Geneva (1939/40–60; sold to MMA)
Paris. Galerie Durand-Ruel. "Tableaux par Camille Pissarro," February 27–March 10, 1928, no. 69 (as "La rue de l'Epicerie, Rouen").
Kunstmuseum Bern. "Camille Pissarro, 1830–1903," January 19–March 10, 1957, no. 98 (as "La rue de l'Epicerie [sic] à Rouen," lent by a private collection, Geneva).
Paris. Petit Palais. "De Gericault à Matisse: Chefs-d'œuvre français des collections suisses," March–May 1959, no. 110 (lent by a private collection, Geneva).
New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "C. Pissarro," March 25–May 1, 1965, no. 68.
New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Impressionist Treasures from Private Collections in New York," January 12–29, 1966, no. 24.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 85, as "The Old Market at Rouen and the Rue de l'Epicerie [sic]").
Tokyo National Museum. "Treasured Masterpieces of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," August 10–October 1, 1972, no. 101.
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Treasured Masterpieces of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 8–November 26, 1972, no. 101.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 69.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 69.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Pissarro," May 19–August 9, 1981, no. 81.
Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Camille Pissarro," November 19, 2005–February 19, 2006, no. 89.
Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria. "Camille Pissarro," March 4–May 28, 2006, no. 89.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 51.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. "A City for Impressionism: Monet, Pissarro, and Gauguin in Rouen," June 4–September 26, 2010, no. 87 (as "Rue de l'Épicerie in Rouen, Effect of Sunlight").
Camille Pissarro. Letter to Lucien Pissarro. August 19, 1898 [published and translated in John Rewald, ed., "Camille Pissarro Letters to His Son Lucien," London, 1980, p. 329], writes from Rouen, remarking that he discovered "an excellent place, where I hope to paint the rue de l'Épicerie and even the market, a really interesting one which is held there every Friday".
Camille Mauclair. The Great French Painters. New York, , ill. p. 27.
Curiosa. "Jeudi 6 Novembre." Le Figaro artistique no. 49 (1924), p. 93, ill., calls it the most important picture in the Leclanché sale; notes that the starting price was Fr 40,000, but that it was hotly contested between M. Lehoucq and M. Savard, the latter buying it for Fr 83,000.
Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi. Camille Pissarro, son art—son œuvre. reprint ed. 1989. Paris, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 65, 225, no. 1036; vol. 2, pl. 208, no. 1036.
De Géricault à Matisse: Chefs-d'oeuvre français des collections suisses. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1959, unpaginated, no. 110, pl. 23.
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. rev., enl. ed. New York, 1961, p. 570, ill., compares it with a photograph of the site, which was destroyed during World War II.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 21–22, ill., note that Pissarro made three paintings of this site (PV 1036–38), but only the MMA painting records the activities on Friday, market day; remark that in it the buildings in the foreground "are treated with many broad, simple areas of color, in contrast to the background, where the richly varied architecture of the cathedral towers is handled with a rough and scintillant impressionistic technique".
John Rewald. "The Impressionist Brush." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32, no. 3 (1973/1974), p. 54, no. 28, ill. (overall and color details).
Christopher Lloyd and Anne Distel inPissarro. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. London, 1980, pp. 143–44, 215, no. 81, ill., comment that it is notable "for the compression of a variety of architectural forms, which link the upper and lower halves of the composition together".
Christopher Lloyd. Camille Pissarro. New York, 1981, pp. 128–29, 132, 147, ill. (color), believes that it is the only view of Rouen painted by Pissarro during the 1890s that updated an established topographical tradition; remarks that it evokes the contemporary life of the city as opposed to its history.
Anne Schirrmeister. Camille Pissarro. New York, 1982, p. 16, colorpl. 16.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 100–101, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Christopher Lloyd. "Camille Pissarro and Rouen." Studies on Camille Pissarro. Ed. Christopher Lloyd. London, 1986, p. 86, pl. 45.
Joachim Pissarro. Camille Pissarro. New York, 1993, p. 260, fig. 302 (color).
Albert Kostenevich. Hidden Treasures Revealed: Impressionist Masterpieces and Other Important French Paintings Preserved by the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Exh. cat.New York, 1995, p. 170.
Christoph Becker. Camille Pissarro. Exh. cat., Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Stuttgart, 1999, pp. 122, 128–29, 195, no. 63, ill. (color).
Terence Maloon inCamille Pissarro. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales. Sydney, 2005, pp. 29, 185, 254, no. 89, colorpl. 89, fig. 10 (color), remarks that it is prophetic of Picasso and Braque's Cubism.
Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, pp. 375, 391–92, 396–97, 399, 401–2, 406, 422, 428; vol. 3, pp. 763–65, 955, 958, no. 1221, ill. (color).
Alexia de Buffévent in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, p. 302.
Susan Alyson Stein inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 75, 247, no. 51, ill. (color and black and white).
Susan Alyson Stein inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 89, 292, no. 83, ill. (color and black and white).
Marie-Claude Coudert inA City for Impressionism: Monet, Pissarro, and Gauguin in Rouen. Ed. Laurent Salomé. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. Paris, 2010, p. 308, no. 87, ill. p. 314 (color).
Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts inA City for Impressionism: Monet, Pissarro, and Gauguin in Rouen. Ed. Laurent Salomé. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. Paris, 2010, p. 75.
Claire Maingon inA City for Impressionism: Monet, Pissarro, and Gauguin in Rouen. Ed. Laurent Salomé. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. Paris, 2010, p. 181.
In a letter to his son Lucien of August 19, 1898, Pissarro wrote that he had found an excellent place from where he could paint the Rue de l'Épicerie and the market that took place there on Fridays. He painted three pictures of this view (Pissarro and Venturi nos. 1036–38); however, the MMA work (PV no. 1036) is the only one that depicts the market on Friday.
A version of this composition (PV no. 1038) was sold at Sotheby's, London, April 4, 1989, no. 14.