This canvas of summer 1895 shows a corner of Pissarro's garden at Eragny, a small village in northern France where he lived from 1884 until his death. Pissarro likely painted this view from his studio window, as a persistent eye ailment hampered him from working outdoors. The picture was among the works that Pissarro sold in November to the dealer Durand-Ruel, who included it in a major exhibition of the artist’s work the following spring.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Artist:Camille Pissarro (French, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830–1903 Paris)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:36 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (92.7 x 64.8 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876-1967), 1967
The Painting: Pissarro spent the last two decades of his life northwest of Paris in the remote village of Eragny. There, he lived with his wife, Julie, herself born in the countryside, and his younger children. He bought a house, built a studio, and, in accordance with long established habit, stayed close to home, often painting his own barnyard, kitchen garden, orchard, and meadow (see, for example, View from my Window in Cloudy Weather, 1886–88, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, WA1950.185). During the 1880s, the artist developed a persistent, inhibiting eye infection, which disturbed him particularly when he was outdoors. He, therefore, set up his easel beside one or another of the windows of his house or, later, his studio to paint different aspects of his property and the adjoining woods and meadows.
Poplar trees of many varieties line the city streets and country roads as well as the rivers and canals of France and mark paths between fields and other boundaries. A native species, they are also cultivated in plantations as a commercial resource, because they grow rapidly and the wood has many uses. Pissarro's vertical canvases often show tall poplars with slender trunks. Here, the poplars and other trees with luxuriant foliage provide a backdrop for the edge of a meadow and a row of four evenly spaced fruit trees, seen on the diagonal and separated from the woodland by a post-and-rail fence. A woman wearing a white headscarf and a blue skirt stands beyond the fence on a path between two masses of low cultivated plants painted in different shades of green. There are also touches of rose in the meadow and lavender among the trees at the right. The variation in scale between the trees in foreground and background could be exaggerated; it is likely that Pissarro was working at a second-story window.
Related Canvases: There are several related paintings, depicting various seasons, all vertical in orientation. See, for example, Autumn, Poplars, Eragny of 1894 (Denver Art Museum, 1935.16) and Morning Sunlight on the Snow, Eragny-sur-Epte, of 1895 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 19.1321). An undated sheet in pencil and transparent watercolor, Study of the Orchard of the Artist's House at Eragny-sur-Epte (ca. 1890, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, WA1952.6.335) records what is probably an earlier response taken from a different angle to the same summer landscape.
The Provenance: The painting, which, typically for Pissarro, is fully signed and dated, must have been completed in the summer of 1895. It was bought by the Durand-Ruel firm for more than one thousand francs on November 22, 1895 and was not sold until 1924.
Katharine Baetjer 2022
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): C. Pissarro.95.
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1895–1927; bought from the artist November 22 for Fr 1,250, stock no. 3434; Durand-Ruel private collection; sold November 3, 1924 to Durand-Ruel, Paris, stock no. 12296; sold to Durand-Ruel, New York, no inventory no., for de Groot]; Adelaide Milton de Groot, Paris, Nice, and New York (1927–d. 1967; consigned to Durand-Ruel, Paris on December 22, 1927, consignment no. 13268; shipped to Durand-Ruel, New York, December 21, 1928 for de Groot)
Paris. Galeries Durand-Ruel. "Exposition d'œuvres récentes de Camille Pissarro," April 15–May 9, 1896, no. 29 (as "Peupliers").
Paris. Galeries Durand-Ruel. "Exposition de tableaux de Monet, Pissarro, Renoir & Sisley," April 1899, no. 60 (as "Peupliers, Éragny").
Paris. Galeries Durand-Ruel. "Tableaux et gouaches par Camille Pissarro," January 10–26, 1910, no. 13 (as "Peupliers").
Palm Beach, Fla. Society of the Four Arts. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Camille Pissarro, 1830–1903," January 9–31, 1960, no. 18 (lent by Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot, New York).
Canberra. National Gallery of Australia. "Paris in the Late 19th Century," November 30, 1996–February 23, 1997, unnumbered cat.
Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "Paris in the Late 19th Century," March 15–May 22, 1997, unnumbered cat.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne," June 23–November 12, 2006, no. 42.
Barcelona. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. "Grandes maestros de la pintura europea de The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York: De El Greco a Cézanne," December 1, 2006–March 4, 2007, no. 34.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Camille Pissarro. Letter to Durand-Ruel. November 22, 1895 [published in Janine Bailly-Herzberg, ed., "Correspondance de Camille Pissarro: Tome 4/ 1895–1898," Paris, 1989, p. 122, no. 1176], lists it among works sold to Durand-Ruel.
Gustave Geffroy. "L'Art d'aujourd'hui: Camille Pissarro." Le Journal (April 18, 1896), p. 5 [see Ref. Snollaerts 2005].
Georges Lecomte. "Notes d'art: M. Camille Pissarro." La Justice (April 22, 1896), p. 1 [see Ref. Snollaerts 2005].
Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi. Camille Pissarro, son art—son œuvre. reprint ed. 1989. Paris, 1939, vol. 1, p. 208, no. 920; vol. 2, pl. 186, no. 920, as in the de Groot collection, Paris.
Anne Schirrmeister. Camille Pissarro. New York, 1982, p. 14, colorpl. 8, notes that this view of his garden was probably painted from Pissarro's studio window.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 94–95, ill. (color, overall and detail), comments that the figure in the background is a reminder of Pissarro's interest in peasant life; remarks that it is among the paintings that Pissarro sold to Durand-Ruel on November 22, 1895.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 440, ill.
Jane Kinsman inParis in the Late 19th Century. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Australia. Canberra, 1996, pp. 42–43, 183, ill. (color).
Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts. Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings. Milan, 2005, vol. 1, pp. 364–65, 368, 393, 419; vol. 3, pp. 687, 955, 958, no. 1082, ill. (color).
Kathryn Calley Galitz inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 222–24, no. 42, ill. (color) [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, pp. 122–23, no. 34, ill. (color)].
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.