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Camille Pissarro - Le Jardin des Tuileries, matinee de printemps, temps gris
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Camille Pissarro

Le Jardin des Tuileries, matinee de printemps, temps gris

Oil on canvas: 25.9 x 36.5 (in) / 65.7 x 92.7 (cm)
Signed and dated lower right: C. Pissarro 1899

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Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas 1830 - 1903 Paris

Ref: CL 3757


Le Jardin des Tuileries, matinee de printemps, temps gris


Signed and dated lower right: C. Pissarro 1899

Oil on canvas: 25 7/8 x 36 ½ in / 65.7 x 92.7 cm

Frame size: 38 x 49 in / 96.5 x 124.5 cm


Painted circa May 1899




Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris, acquired from the artist, 18th May 1899; Paul Cassirer, Berlin, acquired from the above, 1910; Georg Caspari, Munich, acquired from the above, 26th July 1917; Galeries Georges Petit, Paris; Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Paris, acquired from the above, 24th February 1926; Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris, acquired from the above, 23rd June 1926; Mr and Mrs Chester Beatty, London, acquired from the above, 17th January 1929 and until at least 1955 Wildenstein & Co. Inc., New York, by February 1968; Harry W Anderson, Atherton, California, acquired from the above, January 1969 Marlborough Gallery, Inc., New York;

Nancy Lee Bass (1917-2013) and Perry R Bass (1914-2006), Texas, acquired from the above, 20th March 1973

Richard Green, London, 2022;

private collection, UK



Possibly Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., C Pissarro, January-February 1901, no.9 Brussels, Huitième Exposition du Salon de la Libre Esthétique, March 1901, p.36, no.371 Venice, Palazzo dell’Esposizione, L’arte mondiale alla V esposizione di Venezia, April-October 1903, p.217, illus. Helsinki, Exposition d’Artistes Français et Belges, January 1904, p.12, no.42 Vienna, Galerie Arnot, Französische Impressionisten, October-November 1911, no.12 Basel, Kunsthalle, Französische Impressionisten, January 1912, no.104 Berlin, Galerie Paul Cassirer, Camille Pissarro, March 1914, no.33 Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Tableaux par Camille Pissarro, February-March 1928, no.88 London, Royal Academy of Arts, Exhibition of French Art (1200-1900), January-March 1932, no.510. Possibly London, National Gallery, 1956-1958 (on loan)


L'Etoile Belge, 1st March 1901 J Leclerq, ‘Correspondance de Belgique. Salon de la Libre Esthétique’, La Chronique des Arts et de la Curiosité, 6th April 1901, p.109, no.14, p.109 C Kunstler, ‘Camille Pissarro’, Le Figaro: Supplément Artistique, 8th March 1928, p.324, no.184, illus. LR Pissarro and L Venturi, Camille Pissarro: Son Art-Son Oeuvre, Paris 1939, vol. I, p.234, no.1100; vol. II, pl. 219 C Kunstler, Camille Pissarro, Milan 1974, p.63, illus. in colour J Bailly-Herzberg, Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, Paris 1991, vol. V, p.26, letter 1637, no.5 R Brettell and J Pissarro, The Impressionist and the City: Pissarro’s Series Paintings, exh. cat., Dallas Museum of Art, 1992, p.213 J Pissarro and C Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro: Catalogue Critique des Peintures, Paris 2005, vol. III, p.785, no.1262, illus. in colour

Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, The Collection of Nancy Lee and Perry R Bass, March-May 2015, p.48-49, no.23, illus. in colour



Camille Pissarro, painter of peasant life, rolling meadows and country markets, crowned his career with a spectacular series of urban scenes. In the mid-1890s, after painting for a decade mostly in Eragny-sur-Epte, he returned for long periods to Paris, the city that he had first encountered as a schoolboy from the Danish colony of St Thomas in the West Indies. Painting from hotel rooms, Pissarro responded vividly to the stimulus of new artistic motifs: the tall, broad boulevards of Baron Haussmann’s city, bustling with horse-drawn traffic and people. Pissarro’s shimmering brushwork conjures up a continuous sense of excitement and movement. His dealer Paul Durand-Ruel was very happy with this subject. As his artist son Lucien wrote to Camille: ‘What a good idea you had to install yourself in Paris, this will make you more successful in the eyes of Parisians who love only their city, when all’s said and done’[1].


Towards the end of 1898 Pissarro decided to rent a flat and bring his family to Paris for the winter and spring. Eragny, idyllic as it was, was freezing in winter and he felt his two youngest children, the teenagers Jeanne (‘Cocotte’) and Paul-Emile, would enjoy the buzz of the city. In January 1899 the Pissarros moved into ‘a flat at 204 rue de Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries, with a superb view of the gardens, the Louvre to the left, in the background the houses on the quays behind the trees [and] to the right the dome of the Invalides and the steeples of Ste-Clothilde behind clumps of chestnut trees’[2]. ‘It’s very beautiful. I shall have a fine series to paint’, Camille declared to Lucien[3].


This painting of Le Jardin des Tuileries was made in spring 1899, one of a series of fourteen views of the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens executed in the rue de Rivoli apartment between January and June. Camille’s long sojourn and the privacy afforded by the rented accommodation allowed him to work on a larger scale than in his earlier Paris series and to explore changing light, times of day and seasons with even greater subtlety.


Unlike the thronged, modern boulevards of the earlier series, this painting depicts gracious, spacious Paris steeped in history. As Richard Brettell comments, ‘The Tuileries series develops the non-urban aspect of metropolitan space – the parks where the city negates itself, opens itself on to nature’[4]. Designed by André Le Nôtre in the seventeenth century, the Tuileries Gardens display the French genius for combining the formal with the natural. Pissarro plays with the geometric shapes seen from his high viewpoint. The oval of the Grand Bassin is echoed in the curves of the emerald grass, which are thrown into relief by broad walkways of soft mushroom-pink. Unlike in the boulevard paintings, the figures are scattered and stroll rather than march purposefully. The formality of the garden is softened by the exuberance of nature, the trees in their varied green to the right and the fretwork of branches to the left, rich with the coppery hue of trees in early leaf. In the distance, the twin spires of the neo-Gothic church of Sainte-Clothilde can be seen in front of the golden dome of the Invalides. Curlicues of soft grey, cream and powder blue paint evoke a changeable sky, vibrant with the energy of spring.


Pissarro presented a list of eleven paintings, including the present work, to Durand-Ruel on 17th May 1899. To the artist’s delight, he bought all of them, including the present Jardin des Tuileries, the following day for 27,000 francs. The painting has passed through a number of distinguished collections, including that of the American mining magnate and philanthropist Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). From 1973 it was in the collection of Nancy Lee Bass (1917-2013) and Perry R Bass (1914-2006). Perry Bass inherited and developed a Texan ranching and oil business from his uncle Sid Richardson. Mr and Mrs Bass funded the Nancy Lee and Perry R Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, TX and were major benefactors of the Kimbell Art Museum in Worth Worth. Among their donations to the museum were Vincent van Gogh’s Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and Pablo Picasso’s Fruit dish, bottle and guitar, as well as works by Monet, Renoir and Rodin.





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[5] 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] Quoted in Pissarro and Durand-Ruel Snollaerts 2005, op. cit., vol. III, p.728.

[2] Quoted in ibid., p.778.

[3] Quoted in ibid., p.778.

[4] Brettell and Pissarro 1992, op. cit., p.104.

[5] Today part of the US Virgin Islands.

Other Works By
Camille Pissarro:

Camille Pissarro - Paysanne assise et tricotant


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