The Boulevard Montmartre at Night

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Dr. Reza Kibria ::
Editor’s Choice: A Selection of Important Works of Art

This section introduces readers to a selection of great works of art, primarily paintings of the Western World. The works chosen include some personal favourites, others which are well-known or influential in some way and yet others representative of a particular school of art. The impact of a work of art is of course many times greater when the original is seen. If possible readers should try to visit the galleries and museums housing these priceless treasures


“The Boulevard Montmartre at Night”, Camille Pissaro, 1897. oil on canvas, 53x65 cm, National Gallery, London

This Impressionist masterpiece was never exhibited by Camille Pissaro (1830-1903) during his lifetime. Pisarro was better known for his rural landscapes but his views of modern Paris are also very popular. He took a room in the Boulevard Montmartre in 1897 and painted a number of views of the boulevard, but this is the only night-time scene.  His impression of the beauty and symmetry of the Parisian boulevard lit by the new street lamps is magically captured in this painting. Pissaro used fine short brush strokes and bright contrast colors to create the impression of a wet boulevard.