Camille Pissarro, Old Street in Rouen, etching

Vieille Rue à Rouen: Rue Malpalue

Delteil 41, Leymarie & Melot 41

etching, 1883, on medium-fine cream laid paper, a very fine proof impression of the 2nd state (of two)*, printed with plate tone, with full margins, deckle edges, some slight discolouring from an old mount, a few minuscule and unobtrusive fox marks, otherwise in very good condition

P. 124x121mm., S. 252x208mm.


This fine print is the first etching of the well-known Rouen series** that Pissarro began in autumn 1883, and although small in format, it captures the bustling old town area with a deftly sketchy handling.

The picturesque motif of the Rue Malpalue so intrigued him that he produced a larger reworked version (D. 53) two years later.

* It should be remarked that, according to Delteil, this print is quite rare: he notes a total of only some ten impressions, including the posthumous edition. The present impression, unstamped and unnumbered, is apparently a proof prior to this exceedingly small edition.

** "The Rouen series is one of the most engaging he ever did, depicting the narrow crowded streets of the old city crowned by its beautiful cathedral." (Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro, "The Etched and Lithographed Work of Camille Pissarro", in Print Collector's Quarterly IX, pp. 275-301, 1922.)