This view of Pontoise, just northwest of Paris, helped establish Pissarro’s reputation as an innovative painter of the rural French landscape. The critic Émile Zola praised the picture enthusiastically when it was shown along with another rustic scene at the Salon of 1868, writing, "This is the modern countryside. One feels that man has passed by, turning and cutting the earth. . . . And this little valley, this hill have a heroic simplicity and forthrightness. Nothing would be more banal were it not so grand. From ordinary reality the painter's temperament has drawn a rare poem of life and strength."
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): C. Pissarro / 1867
the artist, Paris (1867–d. 1903); his widow, Mme Camille (Julie Vellay) Pissarro, Paris (from 1904); their son, Paul-Émile Pissarro, Lyons-la-Forêt, France (sold for Fr 100,000 to Heinemann); [Heinemann Gallery, New York, by 1927–29; stock no. 18381, sold on January 15, 1929, for $7,500, to Holston]; [William H. Holston Gallery, New York, 1929; sold to Osborn]; William Church Osborn, New York (1929–51)
Paris. Salon. May 1–June 20, 1868, no. 2015 (as "La côte de Jallais").
Le Havre. location unknown. "Exposition maritime internationale," July 2–November 15, 1868, no. 794 (possibly this picture) [see Snollaerts 2005].
Paris. Galerie Manzi, Joyant. "Exposition rétrospective d'œuvres de Camille Pissarro (1830–1903)," January 26–February 14, 1914, no. 5 (as "La Côte du Jalet: Pontoise").
City Art Museum of Saint Louis. "French Impressionists from 1860–1880," April 17–May 16, 1934, no catalogue?
Art Institute of Chicago. "A Century of Progress," June 1–November 1, 1934, no. 260 (as "View at Pontoise," lent by William Church Osborn).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "French Painting from David to Toulouse-Lautrec," February 6–March 26, 1941, no. 96 (as "View at Pontoise—La côte du Jallais," lent by William Church Osborn).
New York. Wildenstein. "Camille Pissarro: His Place in Art," October 24–November 24, 1945, no. 2 (lent by William Church Osborn).
Toledo Museum of Art. "The Spirit of Modern France: An Essay on Painting in Society, 1745–1946," November–December 1946, no. 46 (lent by William Church Osborn).
Art Gallery of Toronto. "The Spirit of Modern France: An Essay on Painting in Society, 1745–1946," January–February 1947, no. 46 (lent by William Church Osborn).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 372 (as "Jallais Hill, Pontoise [La côte du Jallais, Pontoise]").
Paris. Grand Palais. "Centenaire de l'impressionnisme," September 21–November 24, 1974, no. 33.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, no. 33.
New York. Jewish Museum. "The Emergence of Jewish Artists in Nineteenth-Century Europe," November 18, 2001–March 17, 2002, no. 62.
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885," June 26–September 12, 2005, no. 90.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885," October 20, 2005–January 16, 2006, no. 90.
Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885," February 27–May 28, 2006, no. 90.
Baltimore Museum of Art. "Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape," February 11–May 13, 2007, no. 10 (as "Côte des Jalais, Pontoise 'Jallais Hill, Pontoise'").
Milwaukee Art Museum. "Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape," June 10–September 9, 2007, no. 10.
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. "Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape," October 7, 2007–January 6, 2008, no. 10.
Odilon Redon. "Salon de 1868." La Gironde (June 9, 1868) [reprinted in Robert Coustet, "Critiques d'art, Salon de 1868," Bordeaux, p. 57, ill.].
Émile Zola. "Les naturalistes." L'événement illustré (May 19, 1868) [reprinted in Jean-Paul Bouillon, "Emile Zola, le bon combat: De Courbet aux impressionnistes," Paris, 1974, p. 109].
Léon Billot. "Exposition des Beaux-arts, paysage et animaux." Journal du Havre (September 25, 1868) [possibly this picture; see Ref. Snollaerts 2005].
[Jules] Castagnary. "Salon de 1868 (6e article)." Le Siècle (May 29, 1868), p. 1, notes that it attracted attention at the Salon, though it was hung too high.
Georges Rivière. "L'Exposition des impressionnistes." L'Impressionniste no. 2 (April 14, 1877) [reprinted in Barbara Ehrlich White, "Impressionism in Perspective," Englewood Cliffs, 1978, p. 11, fig. 5], discusses the two women in the bend in the road.
Maurice Hamel. "Camille Pissarro: Exposition rétrospective de ses œuvres." Les Arts no. 147 (March 1914), p. 26, mentions that it was in the 1914 Galerie Manzi-Joyant show.
Roger Allard. "Les Arts plastiques." Les Écrits français 2 (March 5, 1914), p. 65.
Art News 26 (October 22, 1927), ill. p. 10.
Art News 27 (March 9, 1929), p. 26, ill., notes that this is a rare early large work of the artist and that it was sold to a New York collector [Osborn] by the William H. Holston Gallery.
Charles Kunstler. Camille Pissarro. Paris, 1930, fig. 1.
Ludovic R. Pissarro. Letter to William Church Osborn. December 31, 1930, states that the correct title is "La côte du Jalet Pontoise".
Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi. Camille Pissarro, son art—son œuvre. reprint ed. 1989. Paris, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 20, 85, no. 55; vol. 2, pl. 10, no. 55.
Lionello Venturi. Impressionists and Symbolists. Vol. 2, New York, 1950, pp. 69–70, fig. 63, mentions that it is the "work of an experienced painter who is considerably more traditional than Monet"; remarks that the volume of the hill is inspired by Courbet and the wall surfaces of the houses are painted in the manner of Corot.
Jean Leymarie. Impressionism. Lausanne, 1955, pp. 68, 71, 73, ill.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 15–16, ill., remark that this is the chief work of Pissarro's earliest, pre-Impressionist style; mention the influence of Manet, Corot, and Courbet.
Charles Theodore Price. "Naturalism and Convention in the Painting of Charles-François Daubigny." PhD diss., Yale University, 1967, pp. 207, 209, discusses the similarities and differences between this composition and Daubigny's "Landscape near Pontoise" (Kunsthalle, Bremen).
Kermit Swiler Champa. Studies in Early Impressionism. New Haven, 1973, pp. 75–77, fig. 107, discusses the four paintings of the Hermitage at Pontoise, 1867–68, as a true series (P&V nos. 55–58); remarks that the MMA work recalls Courbet and Daubigny, but differs in brushwork and tonality.
Everett Fahy inThe Wrightsman Collection. Vol. 5, Paintings, Drawings. [New York], 1973, p. 150, notes a resemblance to Corot's early Roman style in the use of "strong color, solid brush strokes, and cubic forms".
Alfred Werner. "Camille Pissarro: Humble and Colossal." American Artist 37 (July 1973), pp. 22–23, ill. (color).
Charles S. Moffett inImpressionism: A Centenary Exhibition. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1974, pp. 171–75, no. 33, ill. (color, overall and detail) [French ed., "Centenaire de l'impressionnisme," Paris, 1974], notes that although it is a pre-Impressionist work, it has many Impressionist characteristics, including the clear light that does not reveal much precise detail, the faceless figures on the road, and the broad treatment of the grasses.
Ralph E. Shikes and Paula Harper. Pissarro: His Life and Work. New York, 1980, pp. 66, 73, 75, 78, ill. (color), note that when this painting was exhibited in the Salon of 1868, it received critical praise from Castagnary, Astruc, Zola, Jean Ravenal, and Odilon Redon.
Anne Schirrmeister. Camille Pissarro. New York, 1982, pp. 7–8, 11, colorpl. 2, remarks that the two women are wearing fashionable, possibly Parisian, dresses, indicating that they are the wives or daughters of Pontoise's industrialists or merchants.
Prof. Chuji Ikegami inRetrospective Camille Pissarro. Exh. cat., Isetan Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 1984, pp. 20–21.
Christopher Lloyd inRetrospective Camille Pissarro. Exh. cat., Isetan Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 1984, pp. 128, 131, 134, 141, under nos. 12, 24, 39, 69.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, pp. 8, 44, colorpl. 26.
Richard R. Brettell with Joachim Pissarro. Pissarro and Pontoise: The Painter in a Landscape. New Haven, 1990, pp. 105, 122, 126, 137–38, colorpls. 95, 116 (overall and detail).
Peter Galassi. Corot in Italy: Open-Air Painting and the Classical-Landscape Tradition. New Haven, 1991, p. 214, fig. 270, compares it to Corot's "Volterra, View Toward the Fortress" of 1834 (Musée du Louvre, Paris).
Christopher Lloyd inAlfred Sisley. Ed. Mary Anne Stevens. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London. New Haven, 1992, p. 160 [French ed., "Sisley," Paris, 1992, p. 168], relates the composition to Sisley's "The Watering Place at Marly-le-Roi" (private collection, Switzerland).
Christopher Lloyd inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 24, New York, 1996, p. 879.
Dianne W. Pitman. Bazille: Purity, Pose, and Painting in the 1860s. University Park, Pa., 1998, p. 122, fig. 74, notes its influence on Bazille's "View of the Village" of 1868 (Musée Fabre, Montpellier).
Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, pp. 361, 370, 378, 383–85, 399, 402, 406, 411, 417, 422–23, 425; vol. 2, pp. 108–9, no. 116, ill. (color); vol. 3, pp. 953, 956.
Joachim Pissarro. Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 2005, pp. 59, 187, colorpl. 90.
Joachim Pissarro in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, pp. 64–65, 74, ill. (color detail).
Alexia de Buffévent in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, pp. 124–25.
Mary Morton in Mary Morton and Charlotte Eyerman. Courbet and the Modern Landscape. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, 2006, p. 14.
Charlotte Eyerman in Mary Morton and Charlotte Eyerman. Courbet and the Modern Landscape. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, 2006, p. 29.
Dominique de Font-Réaulx in Mary Morton and Charlotte Eyerman. Courbet and the Modern Landscape. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, 2006, p. 55, fig. 33 (color).
Katherine Rothkopf. Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape. Exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art. London, 2006, pp. 52, 66 n. 18, p. 92, no. 10, ill. pp. 14, 70–71, 93 (color, overall and detail), notes that Pissarro made seven Jalais Hill pictures, and that this is one of three in which "the hillside and surrounding fields play a larger role".
Christopher Lloyd in Katherine Rothkopf. Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape. Exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art. London, 2006, p. 27.
Gülru Çakmak in Katherine Rothkopf. Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape. Exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art. London, 2006, pp. 180, 203.
Belinda Thomson inTurner e gli impressionisti: La grande storia del paesaggio moderno in Europa. Ed. Marco Goldin. Exh. cat., Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia. Treviso, 2006, p. 190, ill.
Lin Arison in Lin Arison and Neil Folberg. Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections. New York, 2007, p. 63, ill. pp. 68, 260 (color).
Laurence des Cars inGustave Courbet. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, p. 237, fig. 1 (color) [French ed., Paris, 2007].
Christine I. Oaklander. "Jonathan Sturges, W. H. Osborn, and William Church Osborn: A Chapter in American Art Patronage." Metropolitan Museum Journal 43 (2008), pp. 188–89, 191, figs. 29 (color), 30 (installation photograph).
Klaus Herding inCourbet: A Dream of Modern Art. Ed. Klaus Herding and Max Hollein. Exh. cat., Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Ostfildern, 2010, p. 188, under no. 47, compares it to Courbet's "The Valley of Ornans" of 1858 (Saint Louis Art Museum).
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, pp. 438, 445, no. 361, ill. pp. 370, 438 (color).