Louveciennes, Route de Saint-Germain

Object Details

Title:

Louveciennes, Route de Saint-Germain

Artist/Maker(s):

Camille Pissarro (French, 1830 - 1903)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

France (Place created)

Date:

1871

Medium:

Watercolor over black chalk

Dimensions:

30.2 x 49.2 cm (11 7/8 x 19 3/8 in.)

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As much as a specific location, this large watercolor represents a particular season. The palette of muted browns, blacks, greens, and blues create an autumnal landscape. The pale blue-gray sky, streaked with clouds, and the sparse foliage, both on and fallen from the almost bare trees, also convey winter's approach. A single figure and, in the distance, a figure and carriage, move along the desolate road curving through the scene.

Camille Pissarro's landscape shows the road to the town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye from Louveciennes, a village west of Paris. Many of Pissarro's landscapes of the early 1870s show the roads into and out of Louveciennes. Pissarro himself lived intermittently in Louveciennes and was part of a close-knit community of landscape painters who lived or traveled there including Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

During the early 1870s, Pissarro began experimenting with the emerging Impressionist painting style by returning to watercolor, a medium he had used as a student during the 1850s. Using black chalk, Pissarro first indicated the main features of the composition. He then fleshed out the scene by covering almost the entire sheet with watercolor. Pissarro experimented with some of the spontaneous effects of watercolor, allowing it to pool and tide in some areas and applying it more evenly in others to create a diffuse light. He used broad, wet strokes to define the sky and smaller strokes, with more pigment on the brush, to articulate the foliage and figures.

Also in the Getty's collection, the painting Houses at Bougival (Autumn) was made by Pissarro about one year before this drawing. Although they depict similar subjects, the two works explore different effects. Here, the artist focuses on the fleeting atmospheric effects of light and air; in the painting, Pissarro places more emphasis on the geometric properties of the houses in the landscape.

Provenance
before 1969

Nicole Higgons (Paris)

December 11, 1969

Sotheby's (London), lot 17

Jean-Pierre Durand (Geneva)

British Rail Pension Trustee Company, Ltd.

April 4, 1989

Sotheby's (London), lot 7

Dickinson Roundell, Inc. (New York and London)

Private Collection (France)

Exhibitions
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Works from a British Collection (March to November 1986) (36; catalogue by Dewey F. Mosby)
  • Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, (Hamilton), March to May, 1986
  • Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, (Austin), September to November, 1986
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007) (36; catalogue by Dewey F. Mosby)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007
Capturing Nature's Beauty: Three Centuries of French Landscapes (July 28 to November 1, 2009) (36; catalogue by Dewey F. Mosby)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 28 to November 1, 2009