The National Museum of Western Art

update 14 September 2021

Currently not on display

Camille Pissarro [Saint Thomas, 1830 - Paris, 1903]

The Harvest

Materials/Techniquestempera on canvas
Size (cm)70.3 x 126
InscriptionsSigned and dated lower right: C. Pissarro. 1882
Credit LineDonated by the heirs of Mr. Kojiro Matsukata (ex-Matsukata Collection)
Standard ref.Pissarro/Venturi 1358; M861
Collection NumberP.1984-0003
The Harvest

Figures work in a wheat field that covers the entire horizontal canvas. The horizon line in the distance is placed one quarter of the way down from the top of the painting. The painting presents a scene of wheat harvesting in Pontoise, a quiet village on the outskirts of Paris. By the 1840s this area was connected to Paris by train and it became the home for many young painters. The Impressionist painter Pissarro was one of these resident painters, setting up his studio in the area twice, in 1866-68 and then again in 1872-82. This work was created near the end of Pissarro's second residence in Pontoise, and it was exhibited in the 7th Impressionist exhibition. Several of Pissarro's characteristic features of this period are apparent in this work. One is the handling of the figures. Up until that time figures were simply small, added elements to a composition, but in the 1880s they came to play a major role in his works. At time he created close-up images of either a single figure or a few of them, carefully depicting them with a psychological understanding. In this canvas, two figures, a farm woman holding a sheaf of harvested wheat in the left foreground and a woman bent over next to her, are elements that had never before been seen in Pissarro's works. In this regard Pissarro distanced himself from the Impressionist world that was essentially naturalist and objective even in nature, and brought a new form of dynamism to his compositions. Numerous watercolor and chalk preparatory works for this painting remain and we can imagine how Pissarro spent many hours in his studio carefully creating this work. This method also distances itself from the "Impressionistic" production method that is frequently a case of works painted in a relatively short period of time. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.81)


Sanmarcelli; his sale, 22 April 1895, lot 58; Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris, 1903; Galerie Levesque & Cie, Paris, 1914; Wilhelm Hansen, Ordrupgaard, near Copenhagen, 1917; purchased from the above by Kojiro Matsukata, Kobe, through Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, 1923, as ‘L'automne’ (Fr. 22,000) [see records in the Bibliothèque centrale des musées nationaux, Paris (copy in NMWA curatorial file)]; inherited by his family; deposited in the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, 13 March 1953–6 April 1984; donated by the heirs of Kojiro Matsukata to NMWA, 1984.

Exhibition History

7me Exposition des Artistes Indépendants (7th Impressionist Exhibition), Paris, 1882 - 1882, cat. no. 136
Ex-Matsukata Collection, Bridgestone Gallery, Tokyo, 24 March 1953 - 10 May 1953, cat. no. 43
2nd Ex-Matsukata Collection, Bridgestone Gallery, Tokyo, 8 November 1955 - 4 December 1955, cat. no. 33
Seiyo Bijutsu Meisaku Ten (Masterpieces of Modern European Painting), Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, 1 February 1957 - 24 March 1957, cat. no. 158
La Collection Matsukata, Shiroki-ya Departmemt Store, Tokyo, 9 April 1957 - 28 April 1957, cat. no. 7
Ex-Matsukata Collection, Ishibashi Art Gallery, Kurume, 1 September 1957 - 30 September 1957, cat. no. 22
Bi no Bi, Mitsukoshi DepartmentStore, 15 April 1958 - 27 April 1958
Kindai Seiyo Kaiga Meisaku Ten (Masterpieces of Modern European Painting), Ishibashi Art Gallery, Kurume, 18 March 1961 - 28 May 1961, cat. no. 17
Tanka at the National Museum of Western Art: An Encounter between Poet and Art, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 25 July 2000 - 29 October 2000, cat. no. 37
Pissarro's People, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, 12 June 2011 - 2 October 2011, cat. no. 116, col. repr., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (Legion of Honor), 22 October 2011 - 22 January 2012
Monet, An Eye for Landscapes: Innovation in 19th Century French Landscape Paintings, Pola Museum of Art, 13 July 2013 - 24 November 2013, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 7 December 2013-9 March 2014, cat. no. 29, col. repr.
The Old Matsukata Collection: Reenvisioning the Dream, Kobe City Museum, 17 September 2016 - 27 November 2016, cat. no. 38, col. repr.
The Matsukata Collection: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey: Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 June 2019 - 23 September 2019, cat. no. 137, col. repr.


Pissarro, Ludovic R.; Venturi, Lionello. Camille Pissarro: son art, son œuvre. Paris, 1939, no. 1358.
Sekai Bijutsu Zenshu. Vol. 23, Tokyo, 1953, pl. 10.
Bridgestone Gallery. Tokyo, 1959, no. 32, repr.
Bridgestone Gallery. Tokyo, 1965, no. 20, repr.
Manet, Monet. Mukai, Junkichi et. al, eds. Tokyo, Yamada Shoin, [1968] (L'art du monde, vol.7) , pl. 44.
Kamon, Yasuo. Masterpieces of Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo. Connoisseur. vol. 176, no. 708, Feb. 1971, p. 86, no. 4.
Matsukata Collection. Takashina, Shuji, ed. Tokyo, Shibundo, 1971 (Kindai no Bijutsu, 2), pl. 111.
Pissaro, Sisley, Seurat. Kuroe, Mitsuhiko, anno. Tokyo, Shu-ei-sha, 1970 (L'art monderne du monde, 20), pl. I
Bridgestone Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1977, no. 23, repr.
LLoyd, Christopher. Pissarro. Oxford, 1979, p. 12, pl. 25.
Shikes, Ralph E.; Harper, Paula. Pissarro: His Life and Work. London/ Melbourne/ New York, Quartet Books, 1980, p. 183, repr.
Camille Pissarro 1830-1903 (exh. cat.). Hayward Gallery, London, 30 October 1980-11 January 1981; Grand Palais, Paris, 30 January-27 April 1981; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 19 May-9 August 1981.London, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1980, p. 172 (cited under no. 120).
Brettel, Richard; Lloyd, Christopher. A Catalogue of the Drawings by Camille Pissarro in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Oxford, Clarendon, 1980, pp. 43-46, fig. 13.
Lloyd, Christopher. Camille Pissarro. Genève, Skira; New York, Rizzoli, 1981, pp. 94, 95, repr.
Retrospective Camille Pissarro (exh. cat.). Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo, 9 March-9 April 1984; Fukuoka Art Museum, 25 April-20 May 1984; Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, 26 May-1 July 1984. [Tokyo], Art Life, 1984, p. 142 (cited under nos. 80, 81).
The New Painting: Impressionism 1874-1886 (exh cat.). National Gallery of Art, Washington, 17 January-6 April 1986; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, 19 April-6 July 1986. [San Francisco], Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1986, p. 395, no. 136.
Impressionist Drawings: From British Public and Private Collections (exh. cat.). Lloyd, Christopher; Thomson, Richard, eds. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 11 March-20 April 1986; Manchester City Art Gallery, 30 April-1 June 1986; Burrell Collection, Glasgow, 7 June-13 July 1986. Oxford, Phaidon Press and the Arts Council, 1986, p. 27, fig. 31.
Annual bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. No. 19 (1985), 1988, Takahashi, Akiya. New Acquisitions 1984. pp.27-28, Catalogue of the New Acquisitions 1984. pp. 98-99, repr.
Catalogue of painting acquisitions: 1979-1989. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1990, pp. 52-54, repr.
The Old Matsukata Collection. Kobe City Museum, ed. Kobe, "Matsukata Korekushon Ten" Jikkoiinkai, 1990, cat. no. 1197.
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2006 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 81, col. repr.
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2009, no. 81, col. repr.
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 93, col. repr.
The Matsukata Collection: Complete Catalogue of the European Art. Kawaguchi, Masako; Jingaoka, Megumi, eds. vol. 1: Paintings, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2018, cat. no. 861, col. repr.

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