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Robert C. NOORTMAN - Oil on canvas and oil on panel-Robert C. NOORTMAN

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Oil On Canvas And Oil On Panel

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CAMILLE PISSARRO (Saint Thomas 1830 - Paris 1903)

Place de La République
Oil on canvas: 46.2 x 55.6 cm/ 18 1/4 x 22 inches

Stamped lower right: 'C. P.'
Together with Claude Monet, Pissarro is known as the supreme Impressionist cityscape painter. Place de La République is a key piece in Pissarro?s oeuvre as it is the artist?s first real city view. In 1883, the year of the present work, the artist was staying in Rouen with his friend and patron Eugène Murer for eight weeks, from early October to the end of November. During this first stay in the harbour city of Rouen, Pissarro produced seventeen pictures. Only two were done from the window of Murer?s apartment at the Hôtel du Dauphin et d?Espagne on the Place de la République. These are the only ones really conveying the atmosphere of a city. It was also during this stay that Pissarro first developed the concept of serial repetitions of a given subject. The painting here under discussion is of pivotal importance for our understanding of the development of urban city views in the late impressionist period. The downward perspective, which shows a frozen moment of an everyday town going about its business, is especially daring. The artist himself wrote these lines in a letter before he set at work: ?I leave you now to go to the motif, I have a room overlooking the street. I?m about to start a fog effect, that?s what I get every morning until 11 o?clock-noon, it will be rather curious, the square in fog with the trams and the coming and going?. To his eldest son Pissarro wrote about Rouen in superlatives: ?It is as beautiful as Venice [?] It has extraordinary character?. Pissarro would return to Rouen in 1896 and 1898. Admittedly, the city by then had a long history of bringing artists under her spell. There was an antiquarian interest as evinced by Baron Taylor?s monumental Voyages pittoresques et romantiques (1820-78), three volumes of which were dedicated to Normandy. In this work Rouen was romantically portrayed in prints by Richard Parks Bonington. Pissarro clearly revealed himself as heir to this tradition when he expressed his desire to ?make some sketches of old streets which are being destroyed?. The other tradition with which Pissarro must have been familiar is more artistic in nature. Turner had fixed his impressions of Rouen in watercolours, published in his Annual Tour ? The Seine (1834). Similarly, Camille Corot and Théodore Rousseau had recorded the city from the north-east, to be preci

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  • Origin : NETHERLANDS

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