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View of Berneval, 1900

Camille Pissarro

French, 1830-1903
Oil on canvas
28-3/4 x 36-1/4 in. (73.0 x 92.1 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on view

The most devoted member of the Impressionist group in the 1870s and 1880s, Pissarro revisited his early Impressionist manner at the end of the century, turning out canvases that were dense, with short, quick strokes. In 1900, he visited Berneval, a resort town on the Normandy coast where one senses the aging bohemian may not have felt quite at home. While the lush hillside and garden gate at left invite us into the composition, the broader landscape and distant cliffs present a somewhat flat, forbidding prospect. The writer Oscar Wilde had given an account of the place three years earlier: “Berneval is a tiny place consisting of a hotel and about twenty chalets: the people who come here are des bons bourgeois as far as I can see. The sea has a lovely beach… and the land is full of trees and flowers.”

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