The Avenue de l'Opera, Sunlight, Winter Morning, 1898 by Camille Pissarro

The Avenue de l'Opera, Sunlight, Winter Morning, 1898 by Camille Pissarro
Courtesy of www.diego-velazquez.org

Towards the end of 1897 Pissarro rent a room in the Hotel du Louvre situated on the Place du Palais Royal. This allow him views of the Rue Saint-Honore, the Avenue de l'Opera, and the Place du Theatre Francais. The subjects presented from his room in the hotel posed quite different problems from those experienced while painting the Boulevard Montmartre. While the latter were enclosed like a funnel, the Place du Theatre Francais and the Avenue de l'Opera were open and spacious. The building, the roundabouts, and the Avenue itself allowed Pissarro to establish the framework of his composition, but he also had to contend with moving traffic and pedestrians entering and leaving the Place du Theatre Francais from a variety of directions.

The present painting has a blond tonality, and the sharp morning light is filtered across the composition from behind the spectator. The shadow of the hotel is in the foreground. Where the light is at its most intense the brushwork is at its most free.