The eighth and final Impressionist exhibition was held in 1886, by which time the twelve-year-old movement was no longer regarded as radical. As the oldest of the artists who exhibited with the Impressionists, Camille Pissarro may have felt a particular need to stay abreast of current developments and keep his work fresh. The bold optical experiments of the young Georges Seurat, who used small dabs of juxtaposed color to build pictures of great effect and intensity, intrigued Pissarro, who embraced Neo-Impressionism and specifically the pointillist style for four years in the late 1880s. Pissarro created the present painting from an earlier composition in his studio rather than in front of the motif, which was his usual practice. He had visited Rouen in 1883 and made several drawings and etchings of the Seine that he consulted five years later when painting this foggy view of factories and barges on the river. An industrial landscape dominated by a smoke-belching chimney, the scene is rendered with great beauty in a subtle range of colors. Jennifer A. Thompson, from Masterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art (2007), p. 62.
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