Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) Paul-Emile écrivant 18 1/8 x 15 1/8 in (46 x 38.3 cm) (Painted circa 1894)

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Lot 10
Camille Pissarro
(1830-1903)
Paul-Emile écrivant 18 1/8 x 15 1/8 in (46 x 38.3 cm)

US$ 220,000 - 280,000
£ 170,000 - 210,000

Impressionist & Modern Art

17 May 2017, 17:00 EDT

New York

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Paul-Emile écrivant
stamped with initials 'C.P.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
18 1/8 x 15 1/8 in (46 x 38.3 cm)
Painted circa 1894

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Estate of the artist.
    Julie Pissarro, the artist's wife, 1904.
    Paul-Emile Pissarro, the artist's son, by deed of gift, 1921.
    Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York.
    Mrs. Lloyd S. Gilmour; Christie's, New York, 13 May 1980, Lot 31.
    Norma and Seldon Ring, Los Angeles.
    Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in April 1998.

    Exhibited
    Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, and New York, The Jewish Museum, Camille Pissarro: Impressionist Innovator, 11 October 1994–9 January 1995, no. 123.
    New York, The Jewish Museum, Camille Pissarro: Impressionist Innovator, 26 February–16 July 1995, no. 123.

    Literature
    L.-R. Pissarro and L. Venturi, Camille Pissarro, Son art – Son oeuvre, Paris 1939, p. 201, no. 866 (illustrated vol. II, pl. 176).
    J. Pissarro and S. Rachum, Camille Pissarro – Impressionist Innovator, Jerusalem, 1994, p.222, no. 123 (illustrated in color).
    J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, vol. III, Milan, 2005, p. 663, no. 1033(incorrectly listed as retouched, as confirmed by Dr. Pissarro in 2017).

    Paul-Émile was Camille and Julie Pissarro's fifth son and their eighth and last child, born on 22 August 1884. Known to the family as 'Pitou', 'Tiolo' or 'Guingasse', he grew up in the same intensely artistic environment as his siblings at a time when his father was already very well established as a painter; Claude Monet was his godfather. He appeared first in his father's work at the age of three in Femme étendant du linge, Éragny of 1887 (J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op. cit., no. 854), and made regular appearances thereafter.

    Camille Pissarro and his family moved to Éragny in the Vexin, 40 miles north of Paris, shortly before Paul-Émile's birth. This period saw the artist steadily develop his Pointillist period, but by 1894, the year of the present painting, he had declared 'dots are finished' and was returning once again to Impressionism. The delicate cross-hatching and the subtle handling of composite tones in this portrait of his youngest child speak of Pissarro's meditative contentment as he returns in this domestic scene to a style of which he was an undisputed master.

    Unsurprisingly given his upbringing, drawing came as second nature to Paul-Émile. Writing to his elder son Georges in 1889, Camille Pissarro reported that 'Paul-Émile makes spider's legs, which in his imagination become coaches, horses, cabbies, Cocotte [his sister], birds, etc., etc.' (quoted in J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op. cit., p. 577). His mother Julie was less impressed that all her sons were becoming painters, writing to Camille in about 1895 to reproach him 'for being so stupid and so indifferent to his boys that [he] encourages them to do nothing but this rotten profession for down-and-outs.' (quoted in A. de Buffévent, 'A Painter and His Age: Biography and Critical Reception' in J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op. cit., p. 257).

    Octave Mirabeau, influential critic and a supporter of Pissarro, took a more positive view: 'What a marvelous family, reminiscent of the heroic age of art! An old age still young and revered, surrounded by five sons, all artists and all different! Each one follows his own nature. The father doesn't foist his own theories and doctrines, his own ways of seeing and feeling on them. He lets them grow according to their own vision and intelligence ... in each he nurtures the flower of their own individuality.' (6 December 1897; quoted in J. Pissarro and C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op. cit., under no. 277).

    Following his father's death, Julie Pissarro got her way, as Paulémile (he preferred his name unhyphenated) took up practical trades including as an automobile mechanic and test driver. He returned to painting shortly before the First World War, becoming a successful Post-Impressionist artist enjoying a lasting rapport with contemporaries such as Kees van Dongen, Maurice de Vlaminck and Raoul Dufy. He continued to paint and exhibited regularly, including a first one-man show in the United States in 1967 five years before his death.
Contacts
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) Paul-Emile écrivant 18 1/8 x 15 1/8 in (46 x 38.3 cm) (Painted circa 1894)
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) Paul-Emile écrivant 18 1/8 x 15 1/8 in (46 x 38.3 cm) (Painted circa 1894)
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