Poultry Market at Gisors

Camille Pissarro (French (born in the Danish West Indies), 1830–1903)


82.2 x 82.2 cm (32 3/8 x 32 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera and pastel on paper mounted on wood

Not On View





Pissarro’s experimental and innovative use of pastel modernized and revitalized the medium. Here, Pissarro combines tempera paint with pastel, crushed into a paint or paste, as well as applied dry. The result is a work whose effects seem to hover between painting and drawing—note the opaque fabrics and play of light on leaves. Like Jean-François Millet, whose work he admired, Pissarro lived in the countryside. A critic, writing in the 1880s, compared the two artists favorably, observing that “no one, since Millet, has observed and depicted the peasant with such powerful vigor and with such accurate and personal vision.”


Lower right: C. Pissarro. 1885


Probably passed directly from the artist to Claude Monet (b. 1840 - d. 1926) Giverny, France [see note 1]; by descent from Monet to his son, Michel Monet (b. 1878 - d. 1966), Paris [see note 2]; 1938, sold by Michel Monet to Wildenstein and Co., Paris and New York [see note 3]; 1938, sold by Wildenstein to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

[1] Monet lent it to the "Exposition de l'Oeuvre de Camille Pissarro" (Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris, April 7-30, 1904), cat. no. 157, described as "Marché de Gisors," distemper. [2] He lent it to the "Centenaire de la Naissance de Camille Pissarro" (Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, February-March, 1930), cat. no. 36. [3] John Taylor Spaulding purchased the painting from Wildenstein in April 1938. In a letter to Charles C. Cunningham of the MFA shortly thereafter, Spaulding wrote that "Wildenstein has only had it two weeks or so, and bought it directly from the family of Claude Monet who got it from Pissarro."

Credit Line

Bequest of John T. Spaulding