Rue Jouvenet in Rouen

Paul Gauguin

La calle Jouvenet en Rouen

Gauguin, Paul

París, 1848 - Atuona, Islas Marquesas, 1903

Rue Jouvenet in Rouen, 1884

© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

Oil on canvas

55 x 48,5 cm


Artwork history

  • Mette Gauguin

  • Johan Rohde (1850-1935), Denmark artist.

  • Mrs. Asa Rohde, Copenhagen, c. 1948

  • Sotheby’s Auctions, London, Lot 161, July 6,  1960.

  • Crane Kalman, London

  • Urban Gallery, París

  • Palais Galliera, París, June 18, 1962, lot 86.

  • Etude Couturier Nicolay, París, December 7, 1987.

  • Private Collection, Switzerland

  • Sotheby’s Auctions, London, Lot 19,  June 26, 1990.

  • Sotheby’s Auctions, New York, Lot 259, November 17-18,  1998.

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.


Gauguin, Copenhagen, Kleis, n. 21


Les Gauguin de Scandinavie, Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek; Oslo; Stockholm, n. 35


Paul Gauguin- Retrospective Exhibition to celebrate 100 years since the artist´s birth, Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, n. 10


Gauguin, Edimburgh, Royal Scottish Academy; London, Tate Gallery, n. 5


Gauguin og hans Venner, Copenhagen, Wenkel et Magnussen, n. 69


Paul Gauguin et ses amis, Pont-Aven, Hôtel de Ville, n. 2


Do impresionismo ó fauvismo: A pintura do cambio de século en París. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Santiago de Compostela, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, n. 7, p. 42

1999 - 2000

Del impresionismo a la vanguardia en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Barcelona, Centre Cultural Caixa Catalunya, p. 104


Del post-impresionismo a las vanguardias. Pintura de comienzos del siglo XX en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Valencia, IVAM Centre Julio González, n. 4, p. 34

2000 - 2001

L'impressionisme i la seva empremta en la col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Andorra, Sala d'Exposicions del Govern d'Andorra, p. 60, lám. p. 61


Il trionfo del colore. Collezione Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Kandinsky, Roma, Palazzo Ruspoli, p. 152

2004 - 2005

Gauguin y los orígenes del simbolismo, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Sala de las Alhajas, n. 4, p. 111

2005 - 2006

Gauguin and Impressionism, Copenhague, Ordrupgaard; Fort Worth (TX), Kimbell Art Museum, n. 36, p. 210


Une ville pour l'impressionnisme. Monet, Pissarro et Gauguin à Rouen, Ruán, Musée des Beaux-Arts, n. 30, p. 234, lám. p. 235

2012 - 2013

Rusiñol, Monet, Gauguin, Sunyer. El paisaje en la Colección Carmen Thyssen, Gerona, CaixaForum; Tarragona, CaixaForum; Lérida, CaixaForum, n. 34, p. 120, lám. p. 121. (Gerona)

2013 - 2014

Courbet, Van Gogh, Monet, Léger. Del paisaje naturalista a las vanguardias en la Colección Carmen Thyssen, Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, n. 27, p. 110, lám. p. 111.


Josep Amat converses with impressionism. Col.lecció Carmen Thyssen. On-line edition. Espai Carmen Thyssen, Sant Feliu de Guíxols.

  • -Cooper, D.: Introduction and Notes to the Arts Councils Exhibitions. London, 1955, pp. 16-17.

  • -Wildenstein, Georges: Gauguin. París, Les Beaux Arts, 1964. L’Art Français; vol. 1: Catalogue , n. 127, p. 48, lám.

  • -Sugana, G. M.: L’opera completa di Gauguin. Milán, Rizzoli, 1972. Classici dell’arte; vol. 61, n. 19, p. 88, lám.

  • -Do Impresionismo ó Fauvismo: a pintura do cambio de século en París. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Llorens Serra, Tomàs (ed.). [Exhib. Cat.].Santiago de Compostela, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, 1999, p. 42, lám. [Sheet by Pickvance]

  • -Wildenstein, Daniel: Gauguin. Premier itinéraire d’un sauvage. Catalogue de l’oeuvre peint (1873-1888). Crussard, Sylvie y Heudron, Martine. Milan, Skira – París, Wildenstein Institute, 2001 , vol. 1, n. 115, pp. 134-135, lám.

  • -Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 2, p. 76, lám. p. 77 [Sheet by Isabelle Cahn]

  • -Solana, Guillermo: ”El despertar del fauno. Gauguin y el retorno de lo pastoral”.  Madrid 2004-2005. pp. 14-63, cit. p. 24, fig. p. 23.

  • -Solana, Guillermo: Gauguin y los orígenes del simbolismo. [Exhib. Cat. 2004-2005]. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – Fundación Caja Madrid, 2004.

  • -Fonsmark, Anne-Birgitte: “Artiste-Peintre in Rouen”.  Copenhagen/Fort Worth 2005-2006, pp. 196-209, cit. p. 198.

  • -Brettel, Richard R. y Fonsmark, Anne-Birgitte: Gauguin and Impressionism. [Exhib. Cat. Copenhagen, Ordrupgaard – Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, 2005-2006]. New Haven – London, Yale University Press – Forth Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, 2005, p. 210, lám. p. 211 [Sheet by Richard R. Brettell]

  • -Brettell, Richard: “Gauguin in Rouen”.  Ruán 2010, pp. 76-94, n. 30, cit. p. 82.

  • -David, Jeanne-Marie: “1884 / Gauguin’s stay”.  Ruán 2010, pp. 231-239, n. 30, cit. p. 232, lám. p. 235.

  • -Salomé, Laurent (ed.): A City for Impressionnism. Monet, Pissarro, and Gauguin in Rouen. [Exhib. Cat.]. Ruán, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 2010.

  • -Rusiñol, Monet, Gauguin, Sunyer. El paisaje en la Colección Carmen Thyssen, Gerona, CaixaForum; Tarragona, CaixaForum; Lérida, CaixaForum, 2012, n. 34, p. 120, lám. p. 121. (Gerona)  [Exhib. Cat.].

  • -Courbet, Van Gogh, Monet, Léger. Del paisaje naturalista a las vanguardias en la Colección Carmen Thyssen, Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, 2013, n. 27, p. 110, lám. p. 111. [Exhib. Cat.].

Expert report

This quiet street, similar to that of a village, represents the rue Jouvenet in Rouen, situated close to the impasse Malherne, where Gauguin settled with his family in 1884.

In 1883 various reasons had made the artist decide to move to Rouen, where Pissarro, who had guided him in his approach to impressionism, was living at the time. Gauguin had just lost his job, and had decided, at the age of thirty-five and already the father of five children, to dedicate himself entirely to his art. Life in the capital was too expensive to keep his family, and Gauguin also hoped, by moving to Rouen, to find a new clientele for his paintings. “Gauguin hopes, by isolating himself-wrote Pissarro to the collector Eugène Murer-to establish his career, and he counts on his friends and acquaintances to help him capture the favours of art lovers […]”.

During his ten-month stay, he made about forty paintings, essentially views of the town and its surroundings. In this urban view, probably painted in spring 1884, he remained faithful to his model from a topographical point of view, as can be seen from the almost unchanged aspect of the rue Jouvenet today, with its little houses aligned along the street. To liven up this banal scenery, the artist played on the succession of the warm and cold colours of the façade renderings, and on the rhythmic alternation of brightly lit areas with shaded zones. The composition is built around the street which descends and then rises again in the horizon. Along this line, Gauguin placed some figures, among which are a soldier in bright red trousers and even a small dog, which liven up and punctuate the long perspective of the street. The silhouettes in the foreground, cut out in an arbitrary manner, seem caught on the spot, but they were probably added to the scene, a technique which was habitually used by the artist.

In that period Gauguin was aware of the fact that he had not entirely mastered his art, but he generally carried out his experiments by painting from nature, trying to achieve a synthesis between Pissarro’s Impressionism and Cézanne’s more synthetic art. Around mid-May 1884 he wrote to Pissarro: “What I have at home at the moment is better in that sense, and what I’m hoping to do are large and not monotonous pieces, although I believe that nature is simple in its whole. To convey one’s thoughts one has to be sure of their execution and I have not yet found in this one what I what to do-I will have to suffer a little longer”. The picture is painted with quick brushstrokes, clearly visible, particularly in the sky, and become more regular on the façades of the buildings. The motifs are outlined with a darker trait, which emphasises the shapes. The drawing as well as the colours structure the composition, which is still dependant on the naturalistic vision of space typical of the Impressionists.

Mette Gauguin took the painting to Denmark when she separated from her husband. It was kept in the Rohde collection for a long time, and was later sold in London, Paris and New York, before being bought by Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza in 1998.

Isabelle Cahn