|Courtesy of www.diego-velazquez.org|
Pissarro's series paintings of Paris in the late 1890s are amongst the supreme achievements of Impressionism, taking their place alongside series of Haystacks and the
later waterlilies by Monet. For an artist who throughout his earlier career was primarily celebrated as a painter of rural
life rather than the urban environment, the Boulevard Montmartre, Gare Saint-Lazare and Jardin des Tuileries series confirmed Pissarro's position as the preeminent painter of the City.
Here, as in Monet's series paintings of the late 1880s and 1890s, Pissarro treats the same view or landscape but at different times of the day and under different weather conditions. At times, indeed, the actual weather condition becomes more important that the scene itself.
For several years, Pissarro had been studing the way in which a scene could be totally transformed by introducing figures going about their everyday activities. Here we see a view of the Boulevard des Italiens looking down from his window at the Grand Hotel de Russie. We are faced with a typical view of Parisian society: people walking, window shopping, riding on or queuing for horse-driven omnibuses. The static elements of the landscape are transformed by the bustling activity of the crowd.