In the winter of 1897, Camille Pissarro arrives in Paris to look for inspiration and storylines for a new series of paintings in Paris Avenue. Having settled in a hotel room, he turned his attention to the view outside the window – the noisy lively Boulevard Montmartre seemed to the artist to be no less worthy for the image object than the famous monuments, patterned cathedrals and magnificent sculptural compositions.
Day after day, he caught the mood prevailing in the life of the boulevard, noticed the slightest changes, rejoiced at these changes as evidence of the colorfulness, versatility of life. Like his colleague impressionist Monet, Pissarro cut one plot from the surrounding reality and captured it in a whole cycle of paintings.
Under different weather conditions and at different hours, the master performed thirteen variants of one type of boulevard. From the window, he sees the street flooded with sunlight or pouring rain, draws white smoke clouds on a light blue background, or a thick blue night sky canvas.
The alley, which extends into the distance, makes up the laconic composite core of the canvases cycle. The artist conveys the urban atmosphere with greyish hues, the dynamic movement of horse-drawn carriages, crowds of pedestrians fascinated by the speed of a large Paris. A characteristic feature of this gifted landscape painter is a diligent desire to embrace as much as possible the eye-catching space, combining it with a miniature size of carriages and people.
Pissarro by his own example teaches the viewer to see in an ordinary way an unusual, flickering with all possible colors, flow of life. Like a real magician, the painter turns the next dawns, days, evenings and nights into unique deep poetic canvases.
The city landscape is the pinnacle of mastery of the outstanding genius of the brushes and palette – “the singer of Paris”.