Eye Candy for Today: Pissarro’s Boulevard Montmartre, Spring

Boulevard Montmartre, Spring; Camille Pissarro
Boulevard Montmartre, Spring; Camille Pissarro

Link is to a zoomable version on the Google Art Project; there is a downloadablve version on Wikimedia Commons. Google’s listing indicates the original is in the collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; but I can’t find it in their online database.

This is one of the remarkable series of paintings of Pissarro’s views of the boulevard Montmartre from a room he rented in Paris in the fall of 1896 and Spring of 1897.

In it, as well as in the other paintings in the series, Pissarro explored the same subject in a variety of seasons, times of day, light and weather conditions, and continued the practice by the Impressionist painters of painting scenes of everyday life. In itself, the latter practice, following the lead of Gustave Courbet, was as radical at the time as the Impressionist’s approach to brushwork and color.

In this painting in particular, I love the colors in the shadows (don’t let anyone tell you the French Impressionists didn’t use grays), and the wonderful textural quality of the paint evident in the large reproductions.


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