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A parade in Paris with large crowds along the sidewalks flank a street filled with horse drawn carriages and marchers. 

Elevated view of a wide city street looking down onto a parade. Clusters of marchers, horses and carriages travel in one direction from the bottom middle to the middle left. Large city buildings with wide chimneys on right are painted in perspective going down the street. The closest building on right has windows filled with dots of people. Pastel-colored streamers depicted by fine strokes get caught in the trees planted in ordered intervals. The loose, textured, and energetic brush strokes make for abstracted details and give a feeling of celebration. The sky is painted in soft greys and light blues.

Gallery Text

Known for his rural landscapes, the impressionist painter Pissarro turned his eye to the city of Paris only in the 1890s, during what was to be the last decade of his long career. Although his Parisian views were undertaken partly as a commercial venture, they also presented the artist with an exciting new challenge: how to capture the evanescent energy of the large crowds that filled the wide boulevards lined with tightly packed buildings of modern Paris. This painting is one of three canvases of the same subject that Pissarro painted in 1897 from the window of a room in the Grand Hôtel de Russie. It depicts the celebratory Mardi Gras parade winding up the Boulevard Montmartre, as streamers and confetti flutter in the March breeze.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Camille Pissarro, Danish (St. Thomas, Danish W. Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands) 1830 - 1903 Paris)
Mardi Gras on the Boulevards
Other Titles
Original Language Title: La Mi-Careme sur les Boulevards
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1220, European Art, 19th–20th century, Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
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Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
65.5 x 81.2 cm (25 13/16 x 31 15/16 in.)
framed: 92.5 x 109.4 x 10 cm (36 7/16 x 43 1/16 x 3 15/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l.: C. Pissarro 97
  • inscription: Verso of stretcher, in script in faded watercolor (?): La Mi-Careme sur les boulevards
  • inscription: On right side of stretcher, in white chalk: 18145[?]
  • inscription: On right side of stretcher, stencilled in black ink: 25
  • inscription: At four points on stretcher, in graphite: 14
  • stamp: Back of canvas, in black ink: Douanes Françaises [the rest is illegible]


Recorded Ownership History
Camille Pissarro; to his wife, Mme Pissarro; to her son, Lucien Pissarro. [Wildenstein and Co., (until 1943)] sold; to Maurice Wertheim, New York (1943-1951) bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1951.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest from the Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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Publication History

  • Exposition de l'oeuvre de Camille Pissarro, exh. cat., Galerie Durand-Ruel (Paris, France, 1904), no. 101
  • Retrospective C. Pissarro, exh. cat., Galerie Manzi et Joyant (Paris, France, 1914), no. 31
  • James Bolivar Manson, "Camille Pissarro", The Studio (May 15, 1920), no. 79, repr. facing p. 83
  • Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Camille Pissarro, exh. cat., Leicester Galleries (London, England, 1920), no. 86
  • Collection de Madame Veuve C. Pissarro, exh. cat., Galeries Nunés et Fiquet (Paris, France, 1921), no. 6
  • E. I. Robson, A Guide to French Fêtes (London, England, 1930)
  • Centenaire de la naissance de Camille Pissarro, exh. cat., Orangerie (Paris, France, 1930), no. 91
  • Reginald H. Wilenski, French Painting, Hale, Cushman & Flint, Inc. (Boston, MA, 1931), repr. in color, pl. 10
  • Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro: son art--son oeuvre, Paul Rosenberg (Paris, France, 1939), no. 996
  • Rosamund Frost, "They Painted Paris", Art News (December 15, 1943 - December 31, 1943), vol. XLII, p. 21
  • Paris, a loan exhibition, exh. cat., The Southworth-Anthoensen Press (Portland, ME, 1943), no. 20, foreword
  • Paris by Pissarro, exh. cat., Carroll Carstairs Gallery (New York, NY, 1944), no. 6
  • Camille Pissarro: His Place in Art, exh. cat., Wildenstein Galleries (New York, NY, 1945), no. 35
  • Alfred M. Frankfurter, "Today's Collectors: Modern Milestones", Art News (June 1946), vol. XLV, no. 4, p. 64
  • French Painting since 1870, lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), pp. 42-45, repr. p. 43
  • La Peinture Française Depuis 1870: Collection Maurice Wertheim, exh. cat., Tom Taylor (Québec, Canada, 1949), no. 17, pp. 48-50
  • "19th and 20th Century Art", Think (September 1952), pp. 18-19, 32, repr.
  • Howard Devree, "By French Masters: The Metropolitan Shows Wertheim Collection", The New York Times (New York, NY, July 6 1952), p. 6, p. 6
  • Ralph T. Coe, "Camille Pissarro in Paris: A Study of his Later Development", Gazette des Beaux-Arts (February 1954), vol. XLIII, p. 107
  • The Maurice Wertheim Catalogue: Modern French Art-- Monet to Picasso, exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC, 1960), p. 40, repr. p. 41
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, exh. cat., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1962), p. 42, pl. 16
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, exh. cat., Maine State Museum (Augusta, ME, 1972), no. 28
  • Ralph E. Shikes and Paula Harper, Pissarro: His Life and Work (New York, NY, 1980), p. 297, repr. p. 296
  • Pissarro: Camille Pissaro, 1830-1903, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery (London, England, 1981), p. 141
  • Theodore Reff, Manet and Modern Paris, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C, 1982), p. 258
  • John O'Brian, Degas to Matisse: the Maurice Wertheim Collection, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Fogg Art Museum (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, 1988), no. 21, pp. 98-100, repr. in color p. 99
  • Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 93, color plate; pp. 124, 259, repr. b/w cat. no. 399
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1990), repr. in color no. 4, p. 39
  • Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Pissarro et Paris, Flammarion (Paris, France, 1992), repr. in color p. 61
  • Richard R. Brettell and Joachim Pissarro, The Impressionist and the City: Pissarro's Series Paintings, exh. cat., Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1992), no. 56, p. 75, repr. in color
  • Richard R. Brettell, "Pissarro: the Impressionist and the City, an Organizing Curator's View", Apollo (October 1993), detail repr. in color pl. IV, p. 211
  • Paul Smith, Impressionism: Beneath the Surface, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1995), pp. 138-141, repr. in color, fig. 90
  • Whitney Davis, Replications: archaeology, art history, psychoanalysis, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA, 1996), p. 136 repro.
  • Christoph Becker, Camille Pissarro, exh. cat., Hatje Cantz Verlag (Ostfildern-Ruit, 1999), in photo preceding p. 1
  • Richard Thomson, The Troubled Republic: Visual Culture and Social Debate in France, 1889-1900, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT, and London, 2004), p. 101, repr.
  • Elizabeth M. Rudy, "Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums", Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Summer 2014), Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 301-6

Exhibition History

  • Exhibition C. Pissarro, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 04/01/1904 - 04/30/1904
  • Retrospective C. Pissarro, Galerie Manzi et Joyant, Paris, 02/01/1914 - 02/28/1914
  • Retrospective C. Pissarro, Leicester Galleries, London, 05/01/1920 - 05/31/1920
  • Collection de Mme Vve Pissarro, Galerie Nunes et Fiquet, Paris, 05/01/1921 - 06/30/1921
  • Centenaire de C. Pissarro, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, 02/01/1930 - 03/31/1930
  • Travelling Exhibition, Tate Britain, London, 06/01/1931 - 10/31/1931; Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 10/01/1931 - 11/30/1931; Castle Art Gallery, Nottingham, 11/01/1931 - 12/31/1931; War Memorial Building, Stockport, 01/01/1932 - 01/31/1932; Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, 02/01/1932 - 03/31/1932
  • Paris, a loan exhibition, Coordinating Council of French Relief Societies, New York, 12/09/1943 - 01/09/1944
  • Paintings of Paris by Camille Pissarro, Carroll Carstairs Gallery, New York, 04/12/1944 - 04/26/1944
  • Camille Pissarro, His Place in Art, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 10/24/1945 - 11/24/1945
  • French Painting since 1870 lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1946 - 09/07/1946; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 07/01/1953 - 09/13/1953
  • La Peinture Française depuis 1870, Musée de la Province de Quebec, 07/12/1949 - 08/07/1949
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 07/01/1952 - 09/14/1952
  • French Paintings Since 1870 from the Maurice Wertheim Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/01/1953 - 09/30/1953
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 06/15/1957 - 09/15/1957
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 06/10/1958 - 08/31/1958
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Modern French Art--Monet to Picasso, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 06/17/1960 - 09/04/1960
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 06/13/1962 - 09/02/1962
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 06/20/1963 - 09/01/1963
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 06/24/1965 - 09/07/1965
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 09/03/1968 - 09/22/1968
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, 06/01/1971 - 09/30/1971
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Maine State Museum, Augusta, 06/01/1972 - 09/01/1972
  • Manet to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York, 04/09/1985 - 05/25/1985
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, 03/01/1990 - 04/10/1990; Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 04/14/1990 - 05/13/1990
  • The Impressionist and the City, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, 11/15/1992 - 01/31/1993
  • Re-View: S427 Impressionist & Postimpressionist Art, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/02/2008 - 06/18/2011
  • 32Q: 1220 Wertheim, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Related Works

Verification Level

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