Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon. Effect of Rain, 1897
Oil on canvas. 81 x 65 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon. Effect of Rain belongs to a series of fifteen works that Camille Pissarro painted in Paris from the window of his hotel in the place du Théâtre Français during the winter of 1897 and 1898. Pissarro, who had spent practically all of his life in the country and was basically a landscape painter — and one of the first convincing practitioners of plein air painting — was forced to move to the city for health reasons towards the end of his life. It was then that he began to paint urban scenes viewed from windows, capturing the bustle of the streets of cities like Rouen and Paris. Stylistically, this last decade of his life coincides with his return to an Impressionist technique after experimenting with the influence of Seurat for a short period. Pointillisme , which he abandoned owing to its excessive rigidity, helped him lighten his palette and compose his last paintings in a less rigorous manner.