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The Climb, Rue de la Côte-du-Jalet, Pontoise (Chemin montant, rue de la Côte-du-Jalet, Pontoise)

Camille Jacob Pissarro

European Art

In this painting, Camille Pissarro departs from the legible perspectives of traditional landscapes. Using an array of techniques, from touches of paint to broad palette-knife applications, he incorporates multiple viewpoints: looking up the path, down through the trees, and across at the buildings.

This complex treatment of space and form, the solidity and structure of his paint surfaces, and the way he unified his compositions through color and tone reveal his interest in capturing his own perceptual experience unfolding over time. Some contemporaneous viewers found such paintings unintelligible, or too difficult to apprehend superficially, as Pissarro acknowledged in an 1883 letter to his son: “It is only at length that I can hope to please, and then only if there is in those who regard me a grain of indulgence; but for the passerby, the coup d’oeil [a brief glance] is too hasty, he sees only the surface.”

In the mid-1870s Pissarro often painted in Pontoise alongside Paul Cézanne, who said of the older artist, “We learned everything we do from Pissarro.”
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1875
    DIMENSIONS 21 1/4 x 25 7/8 in. (54 x 65.7 cm) frame: 29 3/4 x 33 7/8 x 3 3/8 in. (75.6 x 86 x 8.6 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower right: "C. Pissarro./1875"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by Dikran G. Kelekian
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Camille Jacob Pissarro (Saint Thomas, (former Danish West Indies), 1830–1903, Paris, France). The Climb, Rue de la Côte-du-Jalet, Pontoise (Chemin montant, rue de la Côte-du-Jalet, Pontoise), 1875. Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 25 7/8 in. (54 x 65.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Dikran G. Kelekian, 22.60 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.60_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 22.60_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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