Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Contributed by Linda Duke, Director of Education, Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion.
Painted by Camille Pissarro near the end of his life, The Pont Neuf: A Winter Morning carries the vision of the French Impressionists into the twentieth century. The artist is said to have painted it from the window of his apartment on the Ile de la Cité in Paris.
The painting poignantly contrasts the momentary effects of a winter sunrise with the lasting monuments of the city. The bare tree branches, the paving stones, and the distant buildings are briefly touched by the still-hidden sun, which warms and softens the gray chill with a suffused glow. As people go about their early-morning business and the river Seine flows strongly but calmly by, everything is dappled with pink or red lights and blue shadows or reflections from the sky.
The unusually pristine condition of this painting, on a canvas that has never been relined, provides a rare opportunity to appreciate the textured surface, which carries an air of spontaneity for all its analytical craft.