Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Winter Landscape: Fox Hill, Upper Norwood by Camille Pissaro

Fox Hill, Upper Norwood 1870 by Camille Pissaro
One of the fascinating things about looking at paintings from the past is that it's now possible to match streetscapes up with Google Street Maps.  A Virtual Paintout in reverse if you like.

One such painting is Camille Pissaro's painting of Fox Hill, Upper Norwood which was painted in South London and is now in the National Gallery.  This is yet another Winter Landscape - and one from before snow ploughs were invented!  I like the blues, pinks and mauves which helps to provide the structure of the snow with this snowy landscape.  I love his ladies in crinolines making their way along the snowy verge.  Makes me think of galoshes!

Pissaro was a French-Danish Impressionist painter.  His family came from French but he was born in the Danish West Indies (which became the US Virgin Islands in 1917).  He was very much influenced by Corot.

Like a number of French people, he sought refuge from the Franco-Prussian War and came to London in June 1870 and stayed for a year.  During this time he lodged at 77a Westow Hill and painted several views of Sydenham and Upper Norwood.  This was at a time when the area was undergoing a process of transition.  the railways had arrived but surburbia had not yet swallowed up all the fields.

One of the paintings from that time is Fox Hill in Upper Norwood.  This is what the scene looks like from more or less the same spot today courtesy of Google Streetview.

View Larger Map

Many of the houses in this street have been rebuilt but the general character of this view and the distinctive bend still correspond with Pissarro's painting.
National Gallery - Pissaro



Deborah Paris said...

I have always enjoyed Pissaro's work from his time in England. It's very interesting to see what this area looks like today!

loriann said...

Hi Katherine, I too relish Pissaro's work. I am amazed that you matched the street in time. What a great idea. Thanks for all your snow postings.

Durinda Cheek, Director said...

One of my favorite French artists. Love seeing the real street today. A good visual tool for teaching- thanks for the idea!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Thanks all of you

Durinda - you might want to keep an eye on this post. I intend to do the same thing with other paintings.

I've already tracked down a Singer Sargent in Capri!


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