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Route de Versailles, Louveciennes

Camille Pissarro

French, 1830–1903

Route de Versailles, Louveciennes

1870

Clear spring sunshine casts alternating bands of light and shade along the road in front of Pissarro’s house in Louveciennes, a town west of Paris. With its broad, simplified handling, the painting seems like a direct transcription of the view. Yet the two trees in the foreground frame the scene with improbable symmetry, suggesting that the artist modified what he observed to achieve a balanced composition.

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 13 x 16 1/4 in. (33 x 41.3 cm) Frame: 19 7/8 x 23 x 2 3/8 in. (50.5 x 58.4 x 6 cm)
Object Number 1955.828
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1942
Status Off View

Image Caption

Camille Pissarro, Route de Versailles, Louveciennes, 1870, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.828.

Bibliography

Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.

Provenance

Lucien Pissarro, the artist’s son, London (1904–until at least 1938, probably sold to Rosenberg, c. 1940–41);¹ [Paul Rosenberg, New York, c. 1940–41, sold to Salz, 14 July 1941]; [Sam Salz, New York, sold to Durand-Ruel, 15 July 1941]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, sold to Clark, 26 Feb. 1942, as Route de Versailles]; Robert Sterling Clark (1942–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

1. In the Paul Rosenberg Archives, there is an undated letter from Lucien Pissarro to Paul Rosenberg, sent to 15 East 58th Street, New York (the Hotel Madison), an address Rosenberg used only from 1940–41. In it, Pissarro describes arrangements for shipping three paintings to Rosenberg from London, one of which is titled “La Route de Versailles à Louveciennes.” Although no further documentation identifying this work was found, it may correspond to the Clark painting (The Paul Rosenberg Archives, a gift of Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg, II.A.23. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

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