Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
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
View this object's location on our interactive map
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]
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
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
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

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at