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The Boulevard des Fossés, Pontoise, 1872

Camille Pissarro

French, 1830-1903
Oil on canvas
18-1/4 x 21-7/8 in. (46.4 x 55.6 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

After seeking refuge in London during the Franco-Prussian War, Camille Pissarro and his family returned to France in 1872. They decided to settle in Pontoise, a small town northwest of Paris where they had lived over four years earlier. Shortly after they arrived, Pissarro created a series of townscapes that appear to explore the town with fresh eyes. The Boulevard des Fossés is one such work, painted en plein air with an attention to the atmosphere and a loose handling of paint—two signatures of the Impressionist movement. The scene captures the quotidian comings and goings of the local population without narrative or incident.

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