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A painting of a snow-covered rural scene, with bare trees and a house and barn in the background.

Piette’s House at Montfoucault: Snow Effect, 1874

Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903)

Oil on canvas

60 x 73.5 cm


Camille Pissarro was born in St Thomas in the West Indies but later lived and worked mainly in Paris. He was an Impressionist painter and mainly painted landscapes outside ‘en plein air’. He was influenced by French artists Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796- 1875) who also painted outdoor scenes. In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen artists, now known as the impressionists. He became the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the "dean of the Impressionist painters", not only because he was the oldest of the group, but also "by virtue of his wisdom and his balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality".

This painting was made at his friend the artist Ludovic Piette-Montfoucault's (1826-1878) house. Pissaro first visited in the 1860s, but decided to use it as the focus for a series of paintings ten years later. In total he painted eighteen paintings in this area, five of which were in the snow. Shortly before leaving for Montfoucault, Pissarro wrote to his friend about his pleasure in anticipating travelling to a region where he would find, ‘the true countryside’.

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