An Alley in Rouen, Rue des ArpentsEnlarge image

An Alley in Rouen, Rue des Arpents, 1883

Camille Pissarro
Danish, French, 1830 - 1903
etching and aquatint with plate tone on laid paper
19 x 15.8 cm irregular; plate: 12.1 x 12.3 cm irregular
Gift of Evelyn Hingston, Montreal, 1984
National Gallery of Canada (no. 28654)

During his stay in Rouen in 1883, Pissarro frequently wrote of overcast skies and rain. The dark, sombre nature of this print suggests one of those days of "temps gris" observed along one of the narrow streets of old Rouen near the river. In the background rise the cathedral towers that Claude Monet would portray in his famous series of paintings in 1892-1893. Pissarro used the etching needle to outline the main masses of the buildings with great efficiency of line, and then applied aquatint to provide grey tones and shadow at street level.


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