Made the same year as Pissarro’s bird’s-eye views of the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, this idyllic scene of a meadow near the artist’s home in rural Eragny is a counterpoint to his paintings of modern urban life. Pissarro depicted the same trio of haystacks, seen from a slightly different vantage point, and under afternoon rather than morning light (private collection), a practice recalling Monet’s Haystacks series of the early 1890s.
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Title:Haystacks, Morning, Eragny
Artist:Camille Pissarro (French, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830–1903 Paris)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:25 x 31 1/2 in. (63.5 x 80 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Douglas Dillon, 2003
Life in Eragny: In the 1880s, the population of Eragny-sur-Epte was less than five hundred people. The village lies in fertile, gently rolling countryside on the main road that leads south to the town of Gisors, roughly two hours by train from Paris. The Pissarro family moved there in 1884, the year in which the artist’s wife, Julie, gave birth to their seventh and youngest child, Paul-Emile (d. 1972). Early in 1884, Pissarro wrote to his oldest son, Lucien (1863–1944): “yes, we have decided on Eragny-sur-Epte; the house is superb and not expensive: one thousand francs, with garden and meadow,” and, in 1886, he claimed that he was only happy when at Eragny.
Home and Working Practice: The commodious brick house in which their younger children grew up would be Pissarro’s and Julie’s last. The property included a barn, farmyard, and vegetable garden, as well as a meadow leading to the river Epte (in fact, little more than a stream), with pollarded willows along its banks. Looking to the west, there is an incline with the roofs of village houses and the steeple of the church in nearby Bazincourt. In 1892, with a loan of fifteen thousand francs from Claude Monet, Pissarro was able to purchase what had been a rental property. During the following year, he turned the barn into a studio with a huge window. He had experimented with Pointillism in the second half of the 1880s, making drawings and watercolors which he worked up laboriously indoors; progressive eye disease also obliged him to spend more time inside to avoid dust and wind. He stayed at home in the countryside in the 1890s until the end of the decade, when he moved for significant periods in autumn and winter to Paris to paint views of the city. Scholar and descendant Joachim Pissarro estimates that at Eragny Pissarro worked within an area of little more than a square mile.
The Painting:Haystacks, Morning, Eragny affords an impression of a tranquil late summer morning when the shadows were long. By contrast with more typical views of the open space behind the house where Pissarro lived, this picture shows an enclosed landscape with fruit trees and poplars to block the distance. The sky is a blue so pale that it differs little in color from the clouds. In the artist’s late work, there are few figures, sometimes only one or none. The woman in blue with a basket or satchel of some kind on her back may be intended to evoke Julie Pissarro, who was a countrywoman accustomed to working in the garden. Pissarro set up his easel outside at ground level, which was relatively unusual for him in his late years and increases the sense of immediacy. Greens prevail, but the haystacks—which give the expected impression of dry, scythed yellowish husks—are painted mostly in mauve and shades of pink. Pissarro had a fondness for haystacks, including them in his landscapes from time to time throughout his career. He listed this canvas, which he titled The Haystacks, Morning (Les Meules, Matin), for two thousand five hundred francs in a contemporary memo provided to his dealer Durand-Ruel.
Katharine Baetjer 2022
 Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, 1/1865-1885, Paris, 1980, p. 291. “Oui, nous sommes décidés pour Eragny-sur-Epte; la maison est superbe et pas chère: mille francs, avec jardin et prés,” wrote Pissarro in spring 1884.  Joachim Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1993, p. 228.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): C. Pissarro 99
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1899–1900; bought from the artist on November 27, 1899 for Fr 2,500; stock no. 5526; sold on March 21, 1900 to Bernard]; Louis Bernard, Paris (1900–1901; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, May 11, 1901, no. 49, as "Clos à Eragny," for Fr 3,900 to Mancini); Mancini, Paris (from 1901); Touéry, Coye-sur-Oise (in 1928); Henri Chartol (in 1930); [Sam Salz]; Max Julius Braunthal, Neuilly-sur-Seine (until 1941; sold on February 17 for Fr 100,000 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1941; stock no. 14057; sold on March 1 for Fr 140,000 to Krüger]; Wolfgang Krüger, Berlin (from 1941); Robert F. Woolworth, New York (by 1958–59; consigned on November 29, 1958 to Knoedler, New York; sold by Knoedler on November 23, 1959 to Dillon); Douglas Dillon, New York (1959–d. 2003; life interest to his widow, Susan S. Dillon, 2003–terminated in 2004)
Paris. Galerie Durand-Ruel. "Tableaux par Camille Pissarro," February 27–March 10, 1928, no. 84 (as "Les meules; le matin").
Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Centenaire de la naissance de Camille Pissarro," February–March 1930, no. 120 (as "Les Meules, le matin," lent by Henri Chartol).
London. Thos. Agnew & Sons. "Paintings and Drawings by Camille Pissarro," November 1937, no. 10 (as "La Meule: le matin").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Summer Loan Exhibition: Paintings from Private Collections," Summer 1967, no. 74 (as "Haystacks, Eragny," lent by Mr. and Mrs. C. Douglas Dillon).
Camille Pissarro. Letter to Durand-Ruel. [c. November 1899] [published in Janine Bailly-Herzberg, "Correspondance de Camille Pissarro: Tome 5 / 1899–1903," Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône, 1991, p. 55, no. 1675), lists this painting as "Les Meules, matin" for Fr 2,500.
Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi. Camille Pissarro, son art—son œuvre. reprint ed. 1989. Paris, 1939, vol. 1, p. 231, no. 1075; vol. 2, no. 1075, pl. 215.
Christopher Lloyd inRetrospective Camille Pissarro. Exh. cat., Isetan Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 1984, p. 139, under no. 61, identifies it as part of a group of paintings of rural subjects made in the summer of 1899 (PV 1071–82).
Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, pp. 375–76, 381, 398, 428; vol. 3, pp. 795, 955, 959, no. 1282, ill.
R[ichard]. S[hone]. "Supplement: Acquisitions (2000–10) of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York." Burlington Magazine 152 (December 2010), p. 839, fig. III (color).
Joachim Pissarro inPissarro. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2013, p. 42, fig. 15 (color).
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