- Camille Pissarro
La Maison Delafolie à Eragny
Signed C. Pissarro and dated 85 (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
- 21 1/2 by 25 5/8 in.
- 54.5 by 65 cm
Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York (acquired from the artist on December 3, 1892)
Grace M. Edwards (acquired from the above on March 19, 1914)
Robert J. Edwards (the above's brother)
Acquired from the above in honor of Juliana Cheney Edwards on April 2, 1925
Paris, Durand-Ruel, Pissarro, 1893, no. 33
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, The Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection, 1939-40, no. 45, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Wildenstein, Camille Pissarro: His Place in Art, 1945, no. 25, illustrated in the catalogue
Wellesley (Massachusetts), Wellesley College Art Museum, Paintings and Prints Since 1860, 1947
Boston, Boston Symphony Hall, 1949
Las Vegas, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Claude Monet 1840-1926: Masterworks from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2004
Passariano, Villa Manin, L'Età di Courbet e Monet, 2009, no. 95, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Tokyo, Mori Arts Center Gallery & Kyoto, Municipal Museum of Art, European Masterpieces, 2010
San Marino, Palazzo Sums, Monet, Cézanne, Renoir e altre storie di pittura in Francia, 2010-11, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled Veduta della finestra dell'artista, Eragny)
Ludovic Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro: Son Art – Son Oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1939, no. 678, catalogued p. 177; vol. II, illustrated pl. 141
"The Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection," Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, December 1939, no. 45, illustrated p. 109
Alexandra R. Murphy, European Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue, Medford, 1985, illustrated p. 229 (titled View from the Artist's Window, Eragny)
Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro, Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. III, no. 804, illustrated p. 527
Pissarro's view of his neighbor's house in Eragny is one of the finest pictures completed while the artist lived in this farming village along the Epte river. An alternative title describes the scene as being a view from the artist's window, but both versions of the catalogue raisonné specifically identify the depicted house as being that of M. Delafolie. We know from Pissarro's correspondence that Delafolie was a brick merchant and landowner, who would on occasion transport some of the artist's canvases to Durand-Ruel's gallery in Paris. The two men maintained a cordial relationship throughout Pissarro's residence in Eragny, and the present painting is one of several renderings of the Delafolie property completed during the mid-1880s.
Located about sixty miles from Paris near Normandy, Eragny-sur-Epte is a small village where Pissarro and his family settled in 1884 and mostly remained until the end of his life. According to Joachim Pissarro, this pristine rural landscape was in sharp contrast to the artist's former residence in the more 'suburban' town of Pontoise. In this new and inspiring environment Pissarro began to develop the divisionist techniques that would fully emerge in his Neo-Impressionist paintings of the late 1880s. "In Eragny, no signs of industry could be observed for miles," the author writes. "Varied expanses of pasture and cultivated land complete the visual field. However, Eragny's earthly space is not banal. For twenty years Pissarro concentrated on this very confined area, on the visual material offered by the stretch of meadows lying in front of him, informed by poplars, gates, the river, and produced over two hundred paintings of these motifs" (J. Pissarro, Camille Pissarro, New York, 1992, p. 225).
La Maison Delafolie à Eragny numbers among Pissarro's more complex and detailed depictions of the French country landscape, thanks to his familiarity with the location and the time he spent assessing appealing vantages in close proximity to his studio. In this thoughtful view, he centers his composition on the wooden fence that cordons off his property from that of his neighbor, and the technique enhances the depth of perspective of the scene. His varying shades of green darken as they recede into the background, and his application of paint intensifies as he focuses on the trees in the distance. It was this sweeping view that greeted the Pissarro family every morning from their house.
The present painting was one of the works gifted to the Museum of Fine Arts by the family of Juliana Cheney Edwards. Juliana's three children, Robert, Hannah and Grace, jointly assembled a collection in honor of their mother, with the understanding that the works would ultimately be left to the Museum. Although it is often unclear who among the children owned each individual work, we know that the present work belonged to Robert, who bequeathed his portion of the collection to the Museum following his death in 1925.