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The Avenue Sydenham by Camille Pissarro

    The Avenue Sydenham by Camille Pissarro

    The Avenue Sydenham by Camille Pissarro was created in 1871. The painting is in National Gallery London. The size of the work is 48 x 73 cm and is made of oil on canvas.

    Following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Camille Pissarro and his family left France and moved to London. This picture is one of 12 he painted while in self-imposed exile there. One of the largest paintings in the group, this springtime scene, with the trees just coming into leaf, would have been completed in April or May 1871, shortly before Pissarro’s return to France. Another London painting, Fox Hill, Upper Norwood, is also in the National Gallery’s collection.

    The view here is of The Avenue, a wide, tree-lined street in Sydenham, a fashionable semi-rural suburb near Crystal Palace in south London. This is not a scene of working life; instead, we see elegantly dressed people enjoying leisurely walks or rides along a picturesque residential street. The location can be identified today as Lawrie Park Avenue with the church of Saint Bartholomew, built in 1832, in the distance. Pissarro slightly narrowed and elongated the church’s tower and also reduced the number of dark windows to create a less solid effect. He had often experimented with the traditional landscape motif of a receding path or lane, but he may also have been influenced by Hobbema’s The Avenue at Middelharnis, with its long avenue of tall trees, which was on display at the National Gallery in May 1871…Read more in National Gallery London

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