The pilot’s jetty, Le Havre (1903) by Camille Pissarro

The pilot's jetty, Le Havre - Camille Pissarro - 1903

Artwork Information

TitleThe pilot's jetty, Le Havre
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Dimensions65 x 81 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationTate Britain, London, UK

About The pilot's jetty, Le Havre

The artwork titled “The pilot’s jetty, Le Havre” is a distinguished piece by Camille Pissarro, created in 1903. The medium used for this piece is oil on canvas, and it measures 65 x 81 cm. As an exemplar of the Impressionist movement, this cityscape captures the bustling activity of Le Havre’s port. Presently, it resides within the esteemed collection of Tate Britain in London, United Kingdom.

In the artwork, Pissarro portrays a vibrant scene dominated by maritime activity. The composition features a foreground bustling with figures likely involved in the day-to-day operations of the port. A jetty extends into the water, guiding the viewer’s eye towards the many ships that populate the harbor. The waters glisten with reflections and the masts of the vessels intersect with a soft, yet dynamic sky, displaying a subtle interplay of light—a hallmark of Impressionist painting.

The color palette is composed of cool shades, with the sky and water rendered in a range of blues and greys, punctuated by the warmer tones of the ships’ sails and the architecture ashore. The brushwork is loose and gestural, imbuing the scene with a sense of immediacy and the transient quality of light and atmosphere. Despite the apparent spontaneous execution, Pissarro’s expertise in composition is evident, creating a balanced and harmonious portrayal of the French harbor that allows viewers to sense the movement and energy of Le Havre at the turn of the 20th century.

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