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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Boulevard Montmartre Series by Camille Pissarro

Boulevard Montmartre Series by Camille Pissarro

Boulevard Montmartre: Afternoon, Sunshine

“Boulevard Montmartre: Afternoon, Sunshine” by Camille Pissarro became part of a thirteen artwork series of the famous Boulevard. Pissarro painted it in 1897 after renting a room at the Grand Hotel de Russie in Paris with a perfect view.  Pissarro wanted to capture the true essence of the busy Parisian street. From his elevated hotel balcony, he obtains a bird’s-eye view of the people, carriages, and life that passed before him.

Each painting in the “Boulevard Montmartre Series” depicts the same scene and view in different climatic conditions and at different times of the day. This painting depicts Paris’ life during the working hours of the day full of activity and purpose. This image portrays a dynamic urban landscape, captured by Pissarro’s rapid brushwork.

Boulevard Montmartre: Afternoon, Sunshine

  • Title:               Boulevard Montmartre: Afternoon, Sunshine
  • Artist:              Camille Pissarro
  • Year:               1897
  • Medium:        Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   Height: 74 cm (29.1 ″); Width: 92.8 cm (36.5 ″)
  • Museum:        Hermitage Museum

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Boulevard Montmartre Series by Camille Pissarro

The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning

“The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning” by Camille Pissarro was painted after his six years in rural Éragny. Pissarro marveled that he could “see down the whole length of the boulevards” with “almost a bird’s-eye view of carriages, omnibuses, people, between big trees, big houses that have to be set straight.”

In his urban city landscapes, he emphasized order, proportion, and structure, while depicting dynamic movement. Not through attention to fine details, but with less individually drawn figures, he focused on broad subjects in his portrayal of real life. His brushstrokes consist of short, loose, semi-thick strokes to enhance the idea of motion running through his work.

At first glance, the work looks blurry until the viewer studies the painting and sees the qualities of details he positions through his stylistic brushstrokes.

The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning

  • Title:                The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning
  • Artist:              Camille Pissarro
  • Year:               1897
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:    Height: 64.8 cm (25.5 ″); Width: 81.3 cm (32 ″)
  • Museum:         Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903) made significant contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro friendships included many Impressionist artists, including Cézanne, Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Degas. He is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886. He acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists but also to the significant Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Camille Pissarro

Reflections

  • Pissarro painted the Boulevard Montmartre 14 times. Why did many Impressionism artists paint the same scene multiple times?
  • “All the sorrow, all the bitterness, all the sadness, I forget them and ignore them in the joy of working.” – Camille Pissarro

A Tour of Artists

Women in the Arts

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“It is absurd to look for perfection.”
– Camille Pissarro

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Photo Credit: 1) Camille Pissarro [Public domain]

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