The Lock at Pontoise

The Lock at Pontoise

1872

Camille Pissarro

(French, 1830-1903)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 76.8 x 105.7 x 11.4 cm (30 1/4 x 41 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.); Unframed: 53 x 83 cm (20 7/8 x 32 11/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1990.7

Location

Did you know?

The river portrayed here is 212 miles (341 km) long.

Description

Pissarro was instrumental in developing the radically new Impressionist technique of painting quickly outdoors to capture fleeting effects of light and atmosphere. The rushing water and overcast sky in this view of a river lock near the artist’s home at Pontoise, a rural commune about 17 miles northwest of Paris, are rendered with rapid, broken brushstrokes of pure color. Painting directly on canvas without preliminary drawing, Pissarro may have executed this work in a single session. The shimmering surface of broken color conveys the sensation of natural, outdoor light.

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