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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

Pissarro moved back to the town of Pontoise, twenty miles Northwest of Paris, in August, 1872. He had spent 1870–71—a politically turbulent year in France—abroad in London. There he had encountered the paintings of John Constable, an early-nineteenth-century landscapist, whose sensitive portrayals of clouds likely inspired the overcast sky in this picture. Pissarro’s first autumn back in Pontoise was among the most productive periods of his career; he turned out twenty-seven views of the town and its inhabitants. Here, with remarkable concision, he evoked a newly-built boulevard, its sidewalks lined with young trees, its gutters filled with fallen leaves.

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