After painting in the French countryside for several years in the late 1800′s, French Impressionist Camille Pissarro took up residence at the Grande Hotel de Russie in the Montmartre section of Paris.
Durning his three month stay there from February through April, he produced a number of canvasses of views of the grand boulevards visible from his room, two of the boulevard Italiens, and fourteen of the boulevard Montmartre, of which he evidently had a better vantage point.
He portrayed the boulevard Montmartre in sun, mist and rain, in night and day, quiet and bustling with activity, including a parade.
This was in some ways similar to Monet’s multiple canvasses of subjects like the haystacks and, famously, the Rouen Cathedral — studies of the same subject in different light, seasons and atmospheric conditions. In other ways Pissarro’s paintings of the grand boulevards were more a study of the passage of life in the streets of Paris below him.
You can find most of the views of the Boulevards on this page on The Athenaeum (scroll down) and view the painting at top in detail on the site of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (click “Fullscreen” and zoom or download).