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N04709 Cardeuse de Laine (A Wool-Carder) 1880
Inscribed 'C. Pissarro. 80' b.l.
Oil on cement, 22 x 18 1/4 (56 x 46.5) Presented by Lucien Pissarro 1933
Prov: Mme Pissarro, Eragny; Lucien Pissarro, London
Exh: 5e Exposition de Peinture par Mme Bracquemond, M. Bracquemond, M. Caillebotte, Mlle Cassatt ... (5th Impressionist exhibition), Paris, April 1880 (136) as 'Gardeuse d'Oies (Mayenne)'; Oil Paintings by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Tate Gallery, June-October 1931 (39)
Lit: Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro: son Art - son Oeuvre (Paris 1939), No.525, Vol.1, p.154, repr. Vol.2, pl.107 as 'Cardeuse de Laine'
First exhibited in 1880 as 'The Goose Girl (Mayenne)'. Mayenne is in Maine in the north-west of France. Pissarro often went there to visit his friend the painter Ludovic Piette (1826-77), who owned the property of Montfoucault at Melleraye, Mayenne; and on these visits, which continued long after Piette's death, he painted a number of pictures of the locality.
This picture is painted on cement (possibly an attempt to simulate the appearance of fresco) and is both heavy and brittle. It was said by Orovida Pissarro to have been broken twice. After the first breakage and restoration, Mme Pissarro gave it to her son Lucien, but it was later knocked over by a workman while standing in his studio. Following restoration, Lucien Pissarro gave it to the Tate Gallery as the best way of avoiding further damage. The restorations are now beginning to discolour and one can see, in particular, several diagonal breaks extending from the top left to the right side.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.610, reproduced p.610