The Cote des Boufs at L'Hermitage, 1877 by Camille Pissarro

The Cote des Boufs at L'Hermitage, 1877 by Camille Pissarro
Courtesy of www.diego-velazquez.org

The Cote des Boeufs is the hillside also called Cote de St. Denis off the rue Vieille de L'Hermitage. The same hill occurs in The Red Roofs, a Corner of a Village, Winter Effect, and both paintings are closely related in style, although different in mood. In this painting, the densely worked surface, the varied palette, the small broken brushstrokes, and the overlaying of the various parts of the composition are all characteristic of Pissarro's manner of working during the closing years of the 1870s. It is only slowly in this picture that the viewer detects the two figures walking along the pathway on the left, so well are they woven into the tapestry, and, again, it is only with a concentrated effort that the eye penetrates the twisting trunks and foliage of the trees in the foreground and middle distance to espy the buildings at the foot of the hill. The complicated internal rhythms are far removed from the clearly defined spatial intervals of earlier pictures.

In 1877 The Cote des Boufs at L'Hermitage is displayed on what is now known as the third Impressionist exhibition, which was held in Paris. In same year Pissarro's friend Paul Cezanne painted his The Orchard, Cote Saint-Denis. The two artists had been friends for many years and had collaborated on a large number of works between 1865 and 1885. The Cezanne painting was also displayed, along with Pissarro's The Cote des Boufs at L'Hermitage and some paintings of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, in the third Impressionist exhibition.