Camille Pissarro

Self-Portrait

1903

Original title
Portrait de Camille Pissarro par lui-même
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 410 x 333 mm
frame: 539 x 465 x 60 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Lucien Pissarro, the artist's son 1931
Reference
N04592

Display caption

This is the artist's last self-portrait, executed in his Paris apartment in the Place Dauphine, overlooking the Pont Neuf. It is painted with the dabbing brushstroke that was typical of the work of this Impressionist artist. Pissarro was a modest and self-critical man, but had strongly held artistic and political beliefs which influenced many younger artists. Something of his air of personal authority can perhaps be sensed in this portrait. Towards the end of his life Pissarro began to enjoy financial security, and, indeed, received official recognition in 1903, the year in which he executed this painting, when two of his works were bought by the Louvre.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Camille Pissarro 1830-1903

N04592 Portrait de Camille Pissarro par Lui-Même (Self-Portrait) 1903

Inscribed 'C. Pissarro. 1903' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 16 1/8 x 13 1/8 (41 x 33)
Presented by Lucien Pissarro 1931
Prov: Mme Pissarro, Eragny; Lucien Pissarro, London
Exh: L'Oeuvre de Camille Pissarro, Durand-Ruel, Paris, April 1904 (130); Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Camille Pissarro, 1830-1903, Leicester Galleries, London, May 1920 (84); Opening Exhibition of the Modern Foreign Gallery, Tate Gallery, June-October 1926 (works not numbered); Centenaire de la Naissance de Camille Pissarro, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, February-March 1930 (117); Oil Paintings by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Tate Gallery, June-October 1931 (23); Pissarro in England, Marlborough Fine Art, London, June-July 1968 (32, repr.)
Lit: Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro: son Art - son Oeuvre (Paris 1939), No.1316, Vol.1, p.263, repr. Vol.2, pl.256 as 'Portrait de Camille Pissarro par lui-même'
Repr: Drawing and Design, N.S., No.2, June 1920, p.35; A. Tabarant, Pissarro (Paris 1924), pl.1

The artist's last self-portrait. It was apparently painted at 28 Place Dauphine in Paris, overlooking the Pont Neuf, the houses in the background being those which stood on the site of the present 'Samaritaine'. They appear very clearly in other pictures, such as Pissarro - Venturi No.1210. John Rewald has pointed out that they are seen here in reverse, while the artist looked into a mirror. This picture must have been painted before [N05833], as he moved out of his apartment in the Place Dauphine almost immediately after his return to Paris from Le Havre; furthermore the wintry light and the fact that he is wearing a hat and overcoat suggest that it was done at the beginning of the year.

Orovida Pissarro told the compiler that this self-portrait was given to Lucien Pissarro by his mother, but had to be returned at the time of her death. The family then took turns to choose pictures and Lucien chose this one because it had previously belonged to him.

Published in:
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.614, reproduced p.614