Lot n° 198
20000 - 25000
Result with fees
: 52 000EUR
PISSARRO Camille (1830-1903).
L.A.S. "C. Pissarro" with DRAWING, Éragny-sur-Epte [2nd half of May 1885], to Paul GAUGUIN; 9 pages in-8.
Magnificent and long letter from Pissarro to Gauguin, illustrated with a pen-and-ink drawing, chronicling Parisian artistic life, and advice from the master to the pupil. [This is one of the few surviving letters from Pissarro to Gauguin, and has remained partly unpublished; while some fifty letters from Gauguin to Pissarro are known, the latter's letters have not been preserved, with a few exceptions, including this one.
Pissarro had never ceased to encourage young talents such as Cézanne, Guillaumin and Vignon who had gathered around him in Pontoise. It was thanks to Pissarro that Gauguin turned to painting in 1874, starting to collect and paint. A relationship of master and pupil and then friendship developed between them, and in 1881 Gauguin spent the summer painting in Pontoise with Pissarro and Cézanne. In 1882-83, Gauguin, having lost his job as a stockbroker due to the depression, decided to take up his vocation as a painter and followed Pissarro's footsteps to Rouen, supporting himself as best he could by selling life insurance. At the end of his tether, he went to live in Copenhagen with his family for a year, while Pissarro settled in Éragny-sur-Epte, from where he informed Gauguin about the artistic life]. "The most important news is the reception of Claude MONET at the international exhibition at [Georges] Petit's. After a lot of pulling, Petit forced the doors open, and Monet arrived - and I was unable to go to Paris for the inauguration, which took place on the 14th of this month, but from hearsay it is a very great success for the artist and for sales, it seems. So Petit agrees today with DURAND-RUEL to make it easier for the Impressionists to gain access to the great amateurs. I am very happy for Monet and for all of us in general. I was also very happy to learn that CAZIN used a lot of his influence with great colleagues for the reception of Monet... It seems that before inviting Monet, DEGAS had been asked to be part of it and he refused energetically!... However, it is necessary to succeed in one way or another. Finally we will see what will come out of it afterwards".
Then he talks about Adolf MENZEL's exhibition, "composed of a few paintings and many drawings. As you must think, I ran to it, spurred on by curiosity and the desire to know the nature of this talent which had seemed so unsympathetic. Well, no! Except for a few drawings, which are done with great skill but without style or breath, everything is mediocre, the painting is grotesque and down-to-earth, unpleasant and false, some lithographs are very good but cold: no, this is not a Daumier, nor a Degas, nor a Delacroix... I have seen GUILLAUMIN who always works and does superb things, I have seen some at Portier's of a vigour, of a superb savagery".
Pissarro then made a pen drawing (7.5 x 7.5 cm) of Gauguin's painting Rouen, l'église Saint-Ouen (1884), and commented: "Your painting, the view of a church in Rouen, in grey weather, is very good. It is still a little dull. The greens are not bright enough. I am sure that you will have changed a lot in Denmark. Alone and left to yourself you will find something new."
Then he returns to the chronicle of artistic life. "Nothing at the annual exhibition of note except PUVIS DE CHAVANNES, who has sent a delightful little picture full of freshness and poetry [L'Automne], and WHISTLER, who is represented by two portraits superb in tone, that of Duret symphony in black and pink, and a great English lady of exquisite elegance [Lady Archibald Campbell, and Portrait of Theodore Duret]. - I have seen nothing else, though, there is a SARGENT of American girls who are very good unfortunately it is not rid of its Carolus-like background [The Misses Vickers]. - In landscape nothing, nothing!... It is a downfall... I forgot to mention the woodcuts, an American artist who has done exquisite things of finesse and art, it's very good... they're doing well those Americans we were joking about! Watch out down there ! ......... As for the French wood engraving, oh là là !....... There is one who is strong it is a named Boulanger, but he engraves Lhermitte instead of engraving his own drawing.
Exhibition of the Refused at the Tuileries, I did not go there, there are horrors, one finds there superb SERRET, how they could refuse this delicate artist, so fine, so naive? it is a height...... That the p.. painting of my compatriots the Danes must seem funny to you ! It is so numb !... I will always remember at the World's Fair those chimney screens so sad and meticulous, beware of frightening your vigor by comparison!..."
Mme Latouche [wife of the painter and colour merchant] constantly asks for Gaug's address
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