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This domestic interior depicts the dining room in Pissarro's house at Osny, near Pontoise in the French countryside not far from Paris. The child shown sitting at the table is the artist's fourth son, Ludovic Rodolphe. Pissarro spent much of his life near Pontoise and several of his paintings depict the surrounding landscape and its inhabitants. In this picture he used the typical Impressionist device of cutting off objects at the edges of the painting, such as the table, chairs and the prints on the wall, in order to give the composition a sense of informality and immediacy. The small, feathery brushstrokes prefigure Pissarro's later Neo-Impressionist or Divisionist paintings.

September 2004