Route de Versailles, Louveciennes, Winter Sun and Snow

Camille Pissarro

Camino de Versalles, Louveciennes, sol de invierno y nieve

Pissarro, Camille

Carlota Amalia, Santo Tomás, 1830 - París, 1903

Route de Versailles, Louveciennes, Winter Sun and Snow, 1870

© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Signed lower left: ''C. Pissarro''.
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.

Oil on canvas

46 x 55,3 cm

CTB.1993.8

Artwork history

  • Thiolliet Collection, Lyon

  • Sold, lot 42, Lyon, December 21, 1937

  • Captain Edward Molyneux, París

  • Wildenstein & Co., New York

  • Mrs. Lucy Smith Battson, L.A (CA), 1957

  • Sotheby’s Auctions, lot 5, New York, November 3, 1993

  • Carmen Thyssen-BornemiszaCollection

1996

De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, n. 57, p. 160

1997

Capolavori dalla Collezione di Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza: 60º anniversario dell'apertura della Pinacotecca di Villa Favorita, Lugano, Villa Favorita, n. 79, p. 212

1997

Del vedutismo a las primeras vanguardias. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, n. 35, p. 134

1998 - 1999

Impressionist in Winter. Effects de Neige, Washington (DC), The Phillips Collection; San Francisco (CA), Center of Fine Arts at Yerba Buena Garden; Nueva York, Brooklyn Museum, n. 33, p. 138

1999 - 2000

Exposición, Sitges, Museu del Cau Ferrat, en préstamo.

2000

De Corot a Monet. Los orígenes de la pintura moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Valencia, Museo del Siglo XIX, p. 190

2000

Del impresionismo a la vanguardia en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, México, DF, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, p. 72

2001

Landschaften von Brueghel bis Kandinsky. Die Ausstellung zu Ehren des Sammlers Hans Heinrich Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, n. 57, p. 152

2004 - 2005

Gauguin y los orígenes del simbolismo, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Sala de las Alhajas, n. 2, p. 108

2006 - 2007

Turner e gli impressionisti. La grande storia del paesaggio moderno in Europa, Brescia, Museo di Santa Giulia, n. 135, p. 319, lám.

2007 - 2008

Auguste Renoir und die Landschaft des Impressionismus, Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum, p. 15, lám.

2009

La Sombra, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Fundación Caja Madrid, n. 57, p. 276, lám. p. 154

2010

Lire l'impressionnisme - Six tableaux, six maîtres., Grenoble, Musée de Grenoble, pp. 14-19, lám. p. 15

2012 - 2013

Lichtgestoeber. Der Winter im Impressionismus, Remagen, Arp Museum Bahnhoff Rolandseck, p. 135, lám. p. 72

2013 - 2014

Pissarro, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza; Barcelona, CaixaForum, n. 8, p. 88, lám. y portada

2014

Camille Pissarro, Der Vater des Impressionismus. Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal. 14 octubre 2014 -22. Febrero 2015. p. 233.

2015

Barcelona, París, New York. D´Urgell a O´Keeffe. Col.lecció Carmen Thyssen. Espai Carmen Thyssen, Sant Feliu de Guixols, 2015.

2017

Camille Pisarro. The first among the Impressionists. Musée Marmottan Monet, París. Cat. 11. pp. 36-37.

2018

Allées et venues. Gauguin y cuatro siglos de caminos en el arte. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra, p. 66-67 y 100.

  • De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. [Exhib. Cat. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza]. Llorens Serra, Tomàs (ed.). Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1996 , n. 57, p. 160 (listed as: “Camino de Versalles: Sol de invierno y nieve”). [Sheet by Ronald Pickvance]

  • Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 2, p. 26, lám. p. 27 [ Sheet by Ronald Pickvance]

  • -Lagier, Valérie; Tosatto, Guy; y Vincent, Hélène: Lire l’impressionnisme. Six tableaux, six maîtres. [Exhib. Cat.]. Grenoble, Musée de Grenoble, 2010, pp. 14-19, lám. p. 15, detalle p. 19 [Sheet by Hélène Vincent]

  • -Borobia, Mar y Alarcó, Paloma (eds.): Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Obras escogidas. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2011, p. 178, lám. p. 179.

  • -Alarcó, P. y Borobia, M. (eds.): Guía de la colección. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2012, p. 251, lám.

  • -Gerstengarbe, Friedrich-W. y Werner, Peter C.: “Kann man Klima malen?”. Remagen 2012, pp. 42-47, cit. p. 46

  • Lichtgestöber. Der Winter im Impressionismus. Kornhoff, Oliver y Blöcker, Susanne (dir.). [Exhib. Cat.] Bielefeld/Berlin, Kerber; Remagen, Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, 2012, p. 135, lám. p. 72 [Sheet by Susanne Blöcker]

  • -Treusch, Tilman: “… pourquoi peindre la neige, cette maladie de la nature’ Zu den Schneebildern der französischen Impressionisten und ihrer Zeitgenossen”.  Remagen 2012, pp. 18-27, cit. pp. 24 y 25

  • -Solana, Guillermo: ”Pissarro y el camino”. Madrid/Barcelona 2013-2014. pp. 14-35, cit. p. 18, fig. p. 19.

  • -Solana, Guillermo. [et al.]: Pissarro. [Exhib. Cat. Madrid Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza y Barcelona, Caixaforum, 2013-2014]. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2013.

  • Barcelona, París, New York. D´Urgell a O´Keeffe. [Exhib. Cat]. Col.lecció Carmen Thyssen. Espai Carmen Thyssen, Sant Feliu de Guixols, 2015, pp. 60.

  • -Camille Pisarro. The first among the Impressionists. Musée Marmottan Monet, París, 2017 .Cat. 11. pp. 36-37. [Exhib. Cat.]

  • -Allées et venues. Gauguin y cuatro siglos de caminos en el arte. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra, 2018. p. 66-67 y 100. [Exhib. Cat.] [Sheet by Richard R. Brettell]

Expert report

Camille Pissarro painted twenty-two canvas of the effects of light, seasonal weather, and movement on Route de Versailles in Louveciennes between the autumn of 1869 and the summer of 1872. He and his family had leased part of a substantial 18th-century house on that street. One friend and colleague, Claude Monet, who lived in the nearby town of Bougival for much of that same period, seems to have spent several days with the Pissarros and painted with him on the Route de Versailles in the snowy winter of 1869-1870. Both men were to move from suburban Paris to the environs of London in 1870 to escape the rigours of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune in France. Pissarro returned to his house, to find it ransacked by the German troops during the period of the siege of Paris.

Surely the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza’s wonderfully wintery view of the Route de Versailles was made in the winter of 1869-1870 and is, hence, one of the earliest works in the series of twenty-two canvases. It relates directly to a smaller canvas made at precisely the same point in the road and framing an identical view. This canvas (La Route de Versailles (effet de neige), PV 72) was surely made as a small-scale study for the Thyssen canvas and was dated on completion, 1870, therefore forcing us to date the undated Thyssen canvas to 1870. The reasons for this are obvious. To achieve a “plein-air” quality in the snow, one has to endure very cold conditions while painting. For this reason, Pissarro chose a vantage point almost precisely in the front of his house, so that he could go in and out easily during the process of painting. He also elected to render his sensations of this fleeting quality of light and weather on a canvas of comparatively small dimension that could serve as the model for a larger painting which was mostly like executed almost entirely in the warmth of the studio. Hence, the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza painting, for all its freshness, was probably painted indoors with the smaller and more direct work as the model.

Pissarro painted five snowy landscapes on the Route de Versailles during the winter of 1869-1870. In all probability the storm occurred in January of 1870, when Monet was staying with the Pissarros and when the younger artist painted three views of the same street. Hence, there are eight winter landscapes of the Route de Versailles produced by Monet and Pissarro early in 1870, of which the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza’s is a principal masterpiece. The two largest paintings in the sequence are Monet’s Route de Versailles, effet de neige (W 147) in a private collection in Chicago and Pissarro’s La route par la neige, Louveciennes (PV 142) in a private collection. These are followed by three canvases by Pissarro of identical dimension, of which the Thyssen’s is the most fully developed, perhaps largely because it is based on a painted study. Interestingly, Monet may have created a painting of the same street on the same days, but from a vantage point on the other side of the road. This canvas Route, effet d’hiver, soleil couchant, is also of almost identical dimension as the Pissarro and is today in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen.

This small group of paintings by Pissarro and Monet occupy equivalent positions in the history of Impressionism as the better known sequence of paintings made by Renoir and Monet in the summer of 1869 at la Grenouillere in Bougival. The summer sequence was difficult because of the quantity of figures and boats on the water and the resulting “mobility” of the landscape motif, while the winter sequence posed problems of temperature and, of course, of the real difficulties of painting snow, which is at once reflective and less material than the paint that describes it. Monet had already attempted winter landscapes earlier in the 1860s and was, hence, more adept at this kind of painting. Pissarro had shown less interest in effects of light and atmosphere than in questions of pictorial construction and composition. It is, in fact, likely that the impetus of Monet effectively challenged Pissarro to a kind of pictorial duel of complex plein-air transcription. Indeed, he seems to have inaugurated the series of twenty-two canvases at Monet’s prompting.

Richard R. Brettell