Camille Pissarro, ‘Soleil couchant au Valhermeil, Auvers sur – Oise’


  • Camille Pissarro
  • Soleil couchant au Valhermeil, Auvers sur – Oise
  • 1880
  • Oil on canvas
  • 54 cm x 64.8 cm
  • Signed C. Pissarro and dated 80 (lower left)
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LGalerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist on 30th December 1880)
M. Baroux, France (acquired from the above on 27th April 1881)
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the above on 6th April 1900)
M & Mme Jean d’Alayer de Costemore d’Arc, France (by descent from the above)
Sam Salz, New York (acquired from the above in September 1966)
Ralph Friedman, New York (acquired from the above on 14th May 1967. Sold: Christie’s, New York, Impressionist Paintings from the Estate of Ralph Friedman, 11th November 1992, lot 36)
Private Collection (purchased at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Sotheby’s, Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale, 8 February 2011, lot 18

Paris, 35 Boulevard des Capucines, Sixième exposition de peinture, 1881, no. 71 Paris, Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées, Exposition centennale de l’art français – Exposition universelle, 1900, no. 520
London, Grafton Galleries, Pictures by Boudin, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, 1905, no. 203
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Pissarro, 1908, no. 16
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Tableaux et gouaches par Camille Pissarro, 1910, no. 4
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Tableaux par Camille Pissarro, 1928, no. 33
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Quelques œuvres importantes de Manet à Van Gogh, 1932, no. 33
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Quelques œuvres importantes de Corot à Van Gogh, 1934, no. 30
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Pissarro, 1956, no. 41

Literature and References
Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, Paris, 1980, vol. I, letter no. 87, mentioned p. 146
Vernay, ‘Les Impressionnistes’, in Le Soir, Paris, 4th April 1881, p. 2
Joris-Karl Huysmans, L’Art moderne, Paris, 1883, pp. 234-235 (with incorrect title) Félix Fénéon, ‘Les Impressionnistes en 1886’, in La Vogue, Paris, 13th-20th June 1886, p. 274
Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro. Son art – son œuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, no. 508, catalogued p. 152; vol. II, no. 508, illustrated pl. 104 Joachim Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York & London, 1993, no. 129, illustrated in colour p. 127
Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro. Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, no. 621, illustrated in colour p. 417
One of the extremally few Pissarro’s works of such a high artistical quality currently existing in the private hands. Following the impressions from the first exhibitions, where it appeared, the painting attracted the attention of the reputed art critics, such as Félix Fénéon — the most famous partisan and champion of the impressionist art — and well-known writer Joris-Karl Huysman, an refined connoisseur of painting, whose opinions didn’t lose their significance even nowadays. As a perfect testimony to all the said above we should refer to the grandiose exposition, functioning now at the Musée d’Orsay under the title ‘Huysmans Art Critic. From Degas to Grünewald, in the Eye of Francesco.
So, the following review of the painting in question left by Huysman seems to be especially valuable. We are citing hereby this veritable anthem to Nature and artist’s prowess in its entirety:
‘’Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts wrote about the present work: ‘When it was shown at the sixth Impressionist exhibition in 1881, this landscape drew the notice of two writers.
J.-K. Huysmans wrote enthusiastically in a volume of his reviews published two years later, “The Path to Le Chou in March [the present work] has an eloquent, joyful appearance, with its planes of vegetables, its fruit trees with twisted boughs, its village swept by poplar trees in the background. The sun rains down on the small houses, rubbing out the red of their roofs against the green confusion of the trees; what you see here is a rich earth worked by spring, a solid earth where plants grow feverishly, it’s the hallelujah of nature being reborn, its juices at a boil; a rural exuberance scattering its violent tones, blowing strident fanfares of pale greens bolstered by the blue-green of cabbages; the whole thing shimmering in a powdery sunlight, in a vibration of air never seen previously in painting; and there is such inquiringness in the technique, such a novel style of execution, unlike that of any of the landscape artists we know”‘ (J. Pissarro & C. Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op. cit., p. 416).

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