Artwork of the Week: January 2

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Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), The Roofs of Old Rouen, Gray Weather.  Oil on canvas, 1896. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1951.361. 28 1/2 x  36 in. Gallery 35

Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), The Roofs of Old Rouen, Gray Weather. Oil on canvas, 1896. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1951.361. 28 1/2 x 36 in. Gallery 35

Camille Pissarro was suffering from a chronic eye infection that kept him indoors when he painted this view of the northern French city of Rouen through a window of his hotel (he died blind). As he wrote to his son Lucien, also an artist, in February of 1896, “Just imagine: the whole of old Rouen seen above the roofs, with the Cathedral…and the fantastic roofs, really amazing turrets. Can you picture a . . . canvas filled with ancient, gray, worm-eaten roofs? It’s extraordinary!” Pissarro convincingly conveys the heavy atmosphere of an overcast winter day, achieving his stated desire “to follow the fugitive and admirable effects of nature.”


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