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Still Life with Apples and Pitcher

Camille Pissarro (French, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830–1903 Paris)

Oil on canvas
18 1/4 x 22 1/4 in. (46.4 x 56.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Bernhard Gift, by exchange, 1983
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    Unlike Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, and other artists in his circle, Pissarro painted few still lifes, most late in his career. This work of 1872 is, therefore, exceptional for its subject, as well as for its clearly expressed forms and subtle manipulation of light. There is only one other comparable painting by the artist, Apples and Pears in a Round Basket of the same year (private collection), which is identical in size and setting to the present canvas, featuring the same floral-patterned wallpaper in the background.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): C. Pissarro

  • Provenance

    [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1872–73; bought from the artist on November 26, 1872 for Fr 200, stock no. 2174, as "Nature morte (pommes de chataîgners) [sic]"; sold on April 28, 1873, for Fr 500 to Hoschedé]; Ernest Hoschedé, Paris (1873–74; sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, January 13, 1874, no. 59, as "Nature morte," for Fr 270 to Hagerman for Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1874–88; ?stock no. 3523, 3524 or 3526; sold on May 2, 1888 to Davis]; Erwin Davis, New York (1888–99; on deposit by Howard B. Davis on March 2, 1898, at Durand-Ruel, New York, stock no. 5677; sold January 7, 1899 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1899–1971; stock no. 2082 as "Still-life, pommes, cruche, verre" or "Pommes de chataîgners et faîence sur une table"; sold in August 1971 to Sam Salz]; [Sam Salz, New York, in 1971]; [?Acquavella, New York; possibly sold to Mellon]; Mrs. Constance Mellon, New York (about 1971–83); [Acquavella, New York, 1983; sold to MMA]

  • Exhibition History

    New York. Durand-Ruel Galleries. "Paintings Representing Still Life and Flowers," December 20, 1913–January 8, 1914, no. 10 [see Snollaerts 2005].

    New York. Durand-Ruel Galleries. "Exhibition of Still Life and Flower Pieces," February 7–24, 1923, no. 19 (as "Pommes, cruche, verre").

    Boston. Brooks Reed Gallery. January–February 1925, no catalogue? [see Snollaerts 2005].

    New York. Durand-Ruel Galleries. "Exhibition of Still Life and Flowers," March 19–April 9, 1927, no. 18 (as "Nature morte").

    New York. Durand-Ruel Galleries. "Still Life and Flowers," January 13–February 1, 1936, no. 10 (as "Nature morte").

    New York. Durand-Ruel. "The Art of Camille Pissarro in Retrospect," March 24–April 15, 1941, no. 25 (as "Nature mort, pommes de chataignes et faience sur une table [sic]").

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art. 1947, no catalogue? [see Oakley letter 1983].

    Cambridge, Mass. Fogg Art Museum. "Paintings of Still Life from the 18th and 19th Centuries," April 28–May 24, 1947, no catalogue (lent by Durand-Ruel) [see Peebles letter 1983].

    New York. Arnold Seligmann-Helft Galleries. "French Still Life from Chardin to Cézanne," October 29–November 22, 1947, no. 27 (as "Nature morte," lent by Durand-Ruel).

    Montclair, N.J. Montclair Art Museum. "History of Still Life and Flower Painting," February 22–March 28, 1948, no. 24 (lent by Durand-Ruel).

    Paris. Durand-Ruel. "Exposition Camille Pissarro," June 26–September 14, 1956, no. 18 (as "Nature morte: pommes de châtaigniers et faïence sur une table").

    Kunstmuseum Bern. "Camille Pissarro, 1830–1903," January 19–March 10, 1957, no. 25 (lent by a private collection).

    Paris. Durand-Ruel. "C. Pissarro, 1830–1903," May 29–September 28, 1962, no. 7.

    New York. Acquavella Galleries. "XIX & XX Century Master Paintings," May 17–June 18, 1983, no. 2 (as "Still Life").

    Washington. Phillips Collection. "Impressionist Still Life," September 22, 2001–January 13, 2002, unnumbered cat. (pl. 30).

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Impressionist Still Life," February 17–June 9, 2002, unnumbered cat. (pl. 30).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885," June 26–September 12, 2005, no. 26.

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885," October 20, 2005–January 16, 2006, no. 26.

    Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885," February 27–May 28, 2006, no. 26.

  • References

    A. Tabarant. Pissarro. London, 1925, pp. 27–28, calls it "Chestnuts and Pottery on a Table" and notes that it sold for Fr 270 at an anonymous sale in January 1874 [see Ref. Bodelsen 1968].

    Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi. Camille Pissarro, son art—son œuvre. reprint ed. 1989. Paris, 1939, vol. 1, p. 106, no. 195; vol. 2, pl. 39, no. 195, date it about 1872.

    French Still Life from Chardin to Cezanne. Exh. cat., Arnold Seligmann-Helft Galleries. New York, 1947, no. 27, dates it 1880.

    Merete Bodelsen. "Early Impressionist Sales 1874–94 in the Light of some Unpublished 'procès verbaux'." Burlington Magazine 110 (June 1968), pp. 332–33, notes that it was sold for Fr 270 to Hagerman in the 1874 Hoschedé sale.

    Christopher Lloyd and Anne Distel in Pissarro. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. London, 1980, p. 88, relate it to "Still Life: Pears in a Round Basket" (PV194; Marge Scheuer collection, New York), dated 1872, and comment that the "Self-Portrait" (PV200; Musée d'Orsay, Paris) depicts a similar wallpaper to that found in the two still lifes.

    Anne Schirrmeister. Camille Pissarro. New York, 1982, p. 10, colorpl. 6.

    Gary Tinterow in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1983–1984. New York, 1984, p. 66, ill. (color), dates it 1872.

    Anne Distel. "Some Pissarro Collectors in 1874." Studies on Camille Pissarro. 1986, pp. 66, 71 n. 4, p. 72 n. 6, notes that although Hagerman purchased it at the Hoschedé sale, it was bought back by Durand-Ruel.

    Joachim Pissarro. Camille Pissarro. New York, 1993, p. 271, fig. 320.

    Alexandra Ames Lawrence in Eliza E. Rathbone and George T. M. Shackelford. Impressionist Still Life. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection, Washington. New York, 2001, pp. 24, 90–91, 215, colorpl. 30.

    Joachim Pissarro. Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 2005, p. 109, ill. p. 110 (color detail) and colorpl. 26.

    Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, pp. 16, 54 n. 39, pp. 370, 372–74, 379, 383, 385, 390–91, 394, 407, 423, 425, 427; vol. 2, pp. 216–17, no. 270, ill. (color); vol. 3, pp. 953, 956, calls it "'Châtaignier' Apples and Glazed Earthenware on a Table" and dates it about 1872; notes that the "Châtaignier" apple is characteristic of the Gâtinais area south of Paris.

  • Notes

    Pissarro very rarely painted still lifes during his early career. A similar work to the MMA picture, "Apples and Pears in a Round Basket" (private collection, New York; Pissarro and Venturi no. 194), is identical in size and setting, and may have been conceived as a pendant to it.

    The wallpaper depicted in this painting is similar to that found in Pissarro's self-portrait dating from 1873 (Musée d'Orsay, Paris; PV200) [see Ref. Lloyd and Distel 1980].

  • See also