Monet on the Run - 39. An uneasy question Before leaving Bougival and going on honeymoon to Trouville, Monet left his canvases in the care of his friend Pissarro in Louveciennes, where they would be beyond the reach of his creditors. When he met Pissarro in London and heard that he and his family ran away from Louveciennes under the sound of the Prussian artillery, leaving all his art work behind, Monet must have had one uneasy question to ask. What had happened to his paintings, Were they safe?
In fact, Pissarro hadn’t even managed to bring a single painting of his own with him to England. He needed to paint new material soon, like this All Saint’s Church, and try to sell his newest work to provide for himself and his family.
When they returned to Louveciennes one year later, the Pissarros found their house plundered and in very bad shape. A neighbour had managed to save some of their furniture, the family clock and a meager 40 paintings of the 1500 or so that Pissarro had left behind. Pissarro would receive 835 francs in compensation for the losses that he had suffered, far less than the 51,156 francs that he claimed.
Monet was very lucky that all of his paintings survived. Pissarro had hidden them better than his own, in a closet under the stairs at the first floor…
Camille Pissarro, All Saint’s Church, Upper Norwood, 1871. - Gouache on paper, 18.2 x 22.8 cm. Private collection - Gouache on paper. Private collection - Oil on canvas. Private collection - Watercolour over graphite on paper, 15.9 x 21.5 cm. Private collection