The Great Bridge in Rouen, Rainy Weather, 1896 by Camille Pissarro

The Great Bridge in Rouen, Rainy Weather, 1896 by Camille Pissarro
Courtesy of www.diego-velazquez.org

In 1896 Pissarro painted an important series of paintings of the port and bridges crossing the Seine at Rouen. Impressed by series paintings of Claude Monet in the 1890s, he chose to depict almost identical views subject to different weather conditions.

Pissarro made two visits to Rouen duting that year. The first, which was partially incited by boredom, took place towards the end of January. Lucien, his wife Esther and baby Orovida, had recently returned to London after a prolonged stay at Eragny and Pissarro felt distracted. He left for Rouen on 20 January.

The Great Bridge in Rouen, Rainy Weather was painted during his second visit. He arrived on 2 September and took a room at the Hotel d'Angleterre which looked out over the port. Pissarro has depicted a bustling port scene. There are seamen in the foreground working on boats, people, horses and carriages crossing the bridge and chimneys fervently churning out smoke from the apparently productive factories. He obviously found the change of scene in Rouen very inspiring. During his first trip in 1896 he painted about twelve paintings and by the end of the second trip he had finished a grand total of twenty-eight.