Description & Technical information

Louveciennes is merely seventeen kilometres outside Paris. Yet, with its idyllic landscape and unobstructed views, it was a favourite destination for Pissarro and several of his contemporaries, including Renoir, Monet and Degas. Indeed, Pissarro's early paintings from Louveciennes are not only among the most important works of his career, but they are also among the first truly Impressionist compositions ever painted. It was in the wake of this period in the artist's career that critic Armand Silvestre referred to him as "basically the inventor of this painting." More than thirty years later, Paul Cézanne proclaimed that Pissarro was in fact "the first Impressionist" (as quoted in Ralph E. Shikes & Paula Harper, Pissarro, His Life and Works, 1980, p. 78).

Le Ru de Montbuisson, Louveciennes offers superb evidence of the artist's early Impressionist approach, and, in its virtuosic adaptation of subtle tonal relationships, it reveals Pissarro's profound understanding of the effects of light on colour. Meanwhile, its painterly surface exemplifies the artist's characteristic brushstroke, which, during this period, was precise and tightly clipped; even in the dim and atmospheric backdrop of a clouded sky, one can observe the premeditated significance of each stroke.

Date:  Executed circa 1869
Period:  19th century, 1850-1900
Origin:  France
Medium: Oil on canvas
Signature: Signed lower right, C. Pissarro.
Dimensions: 46 x 55.5 cm (18¹/₈ x 21⁷/₈ inches)
Provenance: Alfred Daber, Paris
The Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre), London, acquired from the above in 1950
Robert Morley, London, acquired from the above in 1951
Annabel Morley, London
Dr. W. Eisenbeiss, Zürich
Private collection, USA
Literature: Christopher Lloyd, Pissarro, London, 1992, no. 8
Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue Critique des Peintures, vol. II, Paris, 2005, p. 12, no. 136 (illustrated) 
Exhibitions: London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre), Géricault to Renoir, 1951, no. 23
London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre), XIX and XX Century French Paintings and Drawings, October – November 1960, no. 29.
Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints