Archive for April, 2013

PISSARRO AND THE PORTS–Musée Malraux, Le Havre, France–Opening April 28

le havre

The Anse des Pilotes, Le Havre, Morning, Sunshine, Tide Rising
Musée Malraux, Le Havre, France
PDR 1509

This is one of the paintings purchased from Pissarro by the museum in Le Havre museum. The complex scene documents the heavy traffic in Le Havre’s port. The harbor is packed with boats, and commercial facilities line the water’s edge. The left side of the canvas reveals a red brick factory with a tall smokestack, and billowy clouds fill the top half of the canvas.

Pissarro focused on a steamship in the left foreground, which is barely visible behind the huge steam crane discharging puffs of white smoke. A heavy consignment hovers in midair above the dock. The dark boom of the crane draws a heavy diagonal line, which, if extended, meets the top of the ship’s tallest mast. This joined at the bottom with the ship’s deck forms a large triangle that is repeated in the triangular shape of nearby sails. The boom also makes a distinct X with the ship’s lower mast and forms a perfect parallel with a small boom on the ship. This highly geometric construction anchors the painting and provides a stable fulcrum around which the other elements can revolve.

Interestingly, the lower mast of the docked ship is flying the French flag. This may have been a local ship, carrying merchandise from the Le Havre docks inland to Rouen or Paris. Just to the right, another small ship in the middle of the harbor is also flying the tricolour. To the left of the first flag, on the distant side of the harbor is a flurry of flags of red, white, and blue. The inclusion of French flags is unusual for Pissarro. We wonder why the anarchist painter included French flags in this particular painting, but it is almost always a mistake to second-guess him. He may have simply painted what he saw that day.

This is an excerpt from the book PISSARRO’S PLACES, now available at

PISSARRO’S PLACES was chosen to be an official publication of the Normandie Impressionniste Festival 2013.

See it on their French website:

norm logoin JPEG


promo cover

The new website for PISSARRO’S PLACES is now live on the web!  Check it out and let us know what you think.

There is a link on the website for your comments and we look forward to hearing from you.

Will you be in Paris on May 22?  If so, please accept this invitation to hear Ann Saul talk about


in a slide-lecture presentation at 7:30 at

The American Library in Paris

10 Rue du Général Camou  75007 Paris


is honored to be one of the official publications of the


norm logoin JPEG

PISSARRO’S PLACES — Announcing the book launch!

6. PONTOISE d.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Professional

PISSARRO’S PLACES tells his story in a fresh and different way—exploring the places he painted and his “sensations” as he translated them into brushstrokes on his canvas. In his landscapes, you almost feel the sun and the wind in the trees. In his city paintings, you sense the hustle and bustle of traffic. This was his genius.

Rather than settling for the familiar, Pissarro courageously put himself into new situations in pursuit of different and exciting motifs. With PISSARRO’S PLACES, you see those places through his eyes. All the paintings featured in the book are located in public museums and are accessible to the public.

“I thought I knew every nook and cranny of Pissarro’s varied relations throughout the world, but you’ve just taught us there are many places we had missed, so many details we had not seen.”  Joachim Pissarro, great-grandson of Camille Pissarro and preeminent art historian

Visit the website to learn more about PISSARRO’S PLACES!  (After 4/10/13)

 The regular list price is $39.99.

For the book launch until June 1, the price will be $29.99.


You can also order the book by emailing

or by writing Ann Saul, 225 S. 18th Street, Unit 510, Philadelphia, PA 19103.





















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