Lot 252: CAMILLE PISSARRO Coteaux à Pontoise.
November 3, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Coteaux à Pontoise.
Etching printed in black on cream wove paper, 1873-74. 115x158 mm; 4 5/8x6 1/4 inches, full margins. One of approximately only 12 lifetime impressions. Titled and inscribed "no. 4--1er état" in pencil, lower left. A superb, richly-inked impression of this exceedingly scarce, early etching.
Pissarro arrived in Paris at the age of 25 and soon came under the influence of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, one of the foremost French painters of his day and a leading figure in the Barbizon school of landscape artists. Pissarro's arrival in Paris also coincided with the French etching revival, which had been gaining momentum since the 1840s and was in full swing by the 1850s/1860s, due in large part to the Barbizon artists, such as Corot, Jean-François Millet and Charles-François Daubigny, as well as pre-Impressionists like Édouard Manet and James A. M. Whistler, embracing etching as a fine art form and producing prints for an enthusiastically collecting market.
According to Shapiro, Pissarro, "Was received most kindly by Corot and for the next ten years was greatly influenced by this artist's poetic observations of the forests at Fontainebleau [on the outskirts of Paris]. When Pissarro exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1864 and 1865, he designated himself as "pupil of Corot," and his first known prints made during these years were obviously derived from Corot," (Shapiro, Camille Pissarro, The Impressionist Printmaker, Boston, 1973).
This is likely the first etching Pissarro made after his return to France in the early 1870s following the Franco-Prussian war, during which he had fled to England. The several etchings (and many of the paintings) he had produced in the 1860s and left behind in Paris were mostly destroyed by the Prussians who occupied his house. Pissarro settled in Pontoise, a suburb of Paris, when he returned from England in 1871, and the locale for the landscape view in this etching. He began working with Paul Cézanne during the early 1870s in Pontoise, and, at the same time he produced this etching, helped to found, along with Edgar Degas and Cluade Monet (whom he'd become friends with in England) the Société Anonyme des Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs, thereby soldifying the birth of Impressionism. Delteil 7.