The Boulevard Montmartre at Night

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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This is one of 14 views of the Boulevard Montmartre in Paris that Camille Pissarro painted in 1897. These include the boulevard seen in snow, rain, fog, mist and sunlight, and in the morning, afternoon, at sunset and at night. The picture is the only example of a night painting by Pissarro.

Pissarro was especially fascinated by the different types of artificial light, which are reflected on the wet pavements. The cool white of the newly installed electric street lamps along the centre of picture contrasts with the warm yellow gaslight of the shop windows and the oil-burning lamps of the cabs that line the street. The brushstrokes have an almost abstract gestural quality, as Pissarro applied the paint as a patchwork of dashes and daubs to suggest the passing crowds and traffic, and the city’s shimmering lights.

The National Gallery, London



The Boulevard Montmartre at Night




Oil on canvas


H 53.3 x W 64.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1925

Work type



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