Camille Pissarro - Le Pont-Royal, après-midi, temps couvert, 4e série

Camille Pissarro

Le Pont-Royal, après-midi, temps couvert, 4e série

Oil on canvas: 20(h) x 25.6(w) in /

50.8(h) x 65.1(w) cm

Signed and dated lower left: C. Pissarro. 1903

Request price
Request viewing
Contact us

Price request

We will only use your contact details to reply to your request.

protected by reCAPTCHA - PrivacyTerms

Close The Form

Request viewing

We will only use your contact details to reply to your request.

We will contact you shortly after receiving your request.

protected by reCAPTCHA - PrivacyTerms

Close the Form
Close the Form

Contact us

Telephone +44 (0)20 7493 3939


We will only use your contact details to reply to your request.

protected by reCAPTCHA - PrivacyTerms

This framed painting is for sale.
Please contact us on:
+44 (0)20 7493 3939

BV 129



 Saint Thomas 1830 – 1903 Paris


Le Pont-Royal, après-midi, temps couvert, 4e série


Signed and dated, lower left: C. Pissarro. 1903

Oil on canvas: 20 x 25 ⅝ in / 50.8 x 65.1 cm

Frame size: 28 x 32 in / 71.1 x 81.2 cm



Bernheim-Jeune, Paris; Durand-Ruel, Paris, acquired from the above, 29th November 1917 Duval-Fleury, Paris, acquired from the above, 25th March 1918 Philippe Bemberg, Lausanne & Paris, acquired circa 1964;

by descent in a private collection, Paris



Copenhagen, Charlottenborg, Fransk Malerkunst, 1918 Lausanne, Palais de Beaulieu, Chefs d’oeuvres des collections suisses: de Manet à Picasso, 1964 Paris, Hôtel de Ville, Paris sous le ciel de la peinture, 2000, p.113, illus.



LR Pissarro and L Venturi, Camille Pissarro – Son Art, Son Oeuvre, Paris 1939, no.1294, pl.251

J Rewald, C Pissarro, Paris 1974, no.48, illus. (incorrectly catalogued)

J Pissarro and C Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro: Catalogue critique des peintures /Critical Catalogue of Paintings, Paris 2005, vol. III, p.900, no.1487, illus. in colour 



The present painting is part of Pissarro’s last Paris series, which is comprised of fourteen

paintings. This last series brings to an end Pissarro’s circular pictorial itinerary around the

Louvre that structures his series from 1900 until his death in 1903. From late March to late May

1903, Pissarro stayed in a hotel located at 19 quai Voltaire in Paris, with a window directly

facing the Louvre. The same hotel became famous for attracting celebrities in the art and literary

world: Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde stayed there, and in the 20th century, Helen Frankenthaler

also stayed there.


It is in this hotel that Pissarro executed his very last series of Parisian cityscapes, which he thus

described: ‘a series of canvases [showing] the Pont Royal and the Pont du Carrousel, as well as

the houses strung out along the quai Malaquais, with the Institut [de France] and, to the left, the

retreating banks of the Seine, motifs where the light is magnificent’ ([1]). With these evocative and poetic words, Pissarro describes perfectly the present painting: motifs where the light is magnificent. Indeed, from his window, Pissarro could contemplate the Seine river, flowing in front of his hotel, from east to west (or from right to left). As the artist explained to his son, in order to execute the painting, he would have turned left, focusing on the Seine, and on the opposite bank (the rive droite), he could see the Tuileries Gardens, next to the Louvre. The ‘magnificent light’ effects resulting from this exquisite vantage point, is, indeed, marvellously captured in this work.


The motifs of this last series series can be divided into four sub-groups, which are painted from

different vantage points, all from the same window, from far left to right, giving a 180º account

of what Pissarro could see. The first sub-group, looking sharp left, is comprised of four paintings, including the present painting: these works depicting the quai Voltaire, extended by the Quai Anatole France and divided by the Pont Royal, captured under various weather conditions ([2]). Shifting gently to the right, in the second sub-group containing three paintings, Pissarro almost omits the quai Voltaire from the visual field and focuses on the Pont-Royal as it leads onto the right bank, with the Pavillon de Flore monumentally featured in the background ([3]). Gazing further right, Pissarro leaves the opposite bank, returning to the left bank through a different bridge, the Pont du Carrousel. This third sub-group of two paintings shows the façade of the Louvre on one side of the bridge, and a segment of the Quai Voltaire in the lower right corner ([4]). In the fourth and last sub-group comprised of five paintings, Pissarro has shifted his gaze sharp right and focuses on one arch of the Pont du Carrousel with the corridor of the quai Malaquais next to the Seine and the recognizable dome of the Institut de France in the background ([5]). The present painting is one of his most successful within this series: the slightly overcast weather effect on the Seine is couched in a subtle harmony of rich shades of blues and greens, mixed purple and mauve undertones, which capture admirably the silvery reflection of the light, filtered through the clouds, on the surface of the Seine river.


The hotel on the quai Voltaire in Paris was home to other prominent clients down the years including Charles Baudelaire, Richard Wagner, Helen Frankenthaler, and most famously

Oscar Wilde. Lying on his deathbed looking at his surroundings, Wilde said: ‘My wallpaper and

I have been fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go’. One understands all

the more why Pissarro would have been especially drawn to the scenery outside his window.



Joachim Pissarro, Ph. D.

Bershad Professor of Art History, and Director of the Hunter College Art Galleries

Hunter College/CUNY.






Saint Thomas 1830 – 1903 Paris



Camille Pissarro was perhaps the greatest propagandist and the most constant member of the Impressionists and the only one to participate in all eight of their exhibitions. Born in 1830 in the Danish colony of Saint Thomas([6]) in the West Indies, of Sephardic Jewish parentage, he went to school in Paris and then worked in his father’s business for five years. Ill-suited to being a merchant, Pissarro decided to become a painter, studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the informal Académie Suisse. He was considerably influenced and encouraged by Corot and to a lesser extent by Courbet.


During the 1860s Pissarro exhibited at the official Salons and in 1863 at the Salon des Refusés. He increasingly associated himself with the Impressionists, especially Monet and Renoir, and with the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 fled to London, where Durand-Ruel became his principal patron and dealer.


After the war, Pissarro returned to France and settled at Pontoise, spending much time with Cézanne, whom he directed towards Impressionism. In 1884 he moved to Eragny. During the 1890s the meadows at Eragny-sur-Epte, looking across to the village of Bazincourt, became one of Pissarro’s principal subjects, painted at different times of the day and year.


In 1885 Pissarro came into contact with Seurat and Signac and for a brief period experimented with Neo-Impressionism. The rigidity of this technique, however, proved too restrictive and he returned to the freedom and spontaneity of Impressionism. From 1893 Pissarro embarked upon a series of Parisian themes, such as the Gare St Lazare and the Grands Boulevards. He continued to spend the summers at Eragny, where he painted the landscape in his most poetic Post-Impressionist idiom. Pissarro died in Paris in 1903.


[1] Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, ed. Janine Bailly-Herzberg Paris 1989, vol. V, no. 2011.

[2] Pissarro and Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op.cit.,  no.1486, 1495 and 1496.

[3] Ibid., no.1488, 1493 and 1494.

[4] Ibid., no.1489 and 1497.

[5] Ibid., no.1490, 1491, 1492, 1498 and 1499.

[6] Today part of the US Virgin Islands.

ImpressionistCamille Pissarro