Camille Pissarro / The Marne River at Varenne-Saint-Hilaire / 1863-1865Camille Pissarro
The Marne River at Varenne-Saint-Hilaire

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Creator Name: Pissarro, Camille
Creator Dates/Places: French, 1830 - 1903
Creator Name-CRT: Camille Pissarro
Title: The Marne River at Varenne-Saint-Hilaire
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1863
Creation End Date: 1865
Creation Date: 1863-1865
Object Type: Drawings and Watercolors
Materials and Techniques: charcoal on wove paper
Dimensions: Overall: 20 x 27 1/2 x 2 1/2 in. (50.8 x 69.85 x 6.35 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: Dallas Museum of Art
Owner Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
ID Number: 1985.R.51
Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
Context: Camille Pissarro painted fifteen cityscapes of Paris viewed from his suite at the Hôtel du Louvre in the winter of 1897-1898. Four, including "Place du Théâtre Français: Fog Effect," were done on "size 15" canvases, the smallest of the three sizes he used for the series (Pisarro 1989, no. 1019). Unlike Monet, whose series of grain stacks, poplars, and cathedrals were made in identical formats, Pissarro preferred to vary the scale and point of view in his series so that each work was unique. Then, in working with his friend the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, Pissarro arranged the paintings in harmonious groupings on the walls, creating pairs, trios, and quartets of canvases. This painting must have been made as a pair with "Avenue de l'Opéra: Snow Effect" (1898, Musée Saint-Denis, Reims), which is of identical dimensions and is also devoted to an effect of weather. When Pissarro exhibited twelve paintings from the series in the gallery of Durand-Ruel in June 1898, the Reves painting was not included, although it was finished. It may have already been sold, since its first owner, Eugène Blot, was actively collecting in the late 1890s.The Reves painting is the only fog effect of the series, and was one of only two paintings finished in December 1897, during the first of Pissarro's two campaigns devoted to the avenue de l'Opéra and its environs. This canvas is also one of four that deal with the venerated Théâtre Français building, which looms ominously on the right, its mass contrasting with the fog-filled void of the avenue de l'Opéra. Pissarro did not frequently paint fog, an effect preferred by Monet, Sisley, and Renoir. Indeed, the tangibility of form was so much a part of Pissarro's aesthetic that he avoided dealing with intangible atmosphere. Yet, this subtle painting is masterly in its evocation of the lavender wetness of a dull winter day in Paris. Pissarro's earlier study of fog on the boulevard Montmartre was included in the 1898 exhibition."Impressionist Paintings Drawings and Sculpture from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 125
AMICA ID: DMA_.1985.R.51
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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