Outdoor painting, also known as plain air painting, is one of the great premises of impressionist artists, tired of painting from the solitude of their studios, the impressionist painters decided to go out with their canvases and their brushes to the street and the countryside to make a painting in situ; This was, in fact, the only way to be able to realistically capture the light effects that so concerned these painters. In this sense, we must highlight the artist that concerns us here, Camille Pissarro, as one of the great defenders of plain air painting. Pissarro became the most outstanding painter of landscape painting, he became famous for his well-known canvases on French rural life. However, due to he alth problems, Pissarro spent the last years of his life in Paris, during this stage he did not abandon landscape painting but made it take a new turn, heading towards the urban landscapes of Paris remodeled by Baron Haussman.
The work that concerns us here, Rue Saint Honoré after noon. Rain Effect is one of those canvases made in the last stage of the painter's life in which he focused on the urban life of the city. It is a small portrait format painting that is barely eighty centimeters high and sixty-five high and hasbeen done in oil on canvas.
Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903) is one of the great figures of the Impressionist movement. The son of a merchant, the artist decided very early on that he would devote his life to painting and moved to Paris where he was part of the well-known group of Impressionist artists (Monet, Renoir, Sisley…) with whom he had frequent relationships. The artist participated in most of the Impressionist exhibitions, however the work that concerns us here already belongs to a final stage of his production, where most of the painters had separated from the group and began a solo career.
The painting represents one of the great avenues of Paris that the artist could see from the window of his hotel, it shows the hustle and bustle with carriages and pedestrians that they occupy the streets of the city despite being a quiet hour, after eating. If we look at the sky we can see the atmosphere charged with rain, the light is reflected on the wet ground creating spectacular light reflections that the artist has been able to capture perfectly; Not surprisingly, Pissarro made different works from this same perspective with the sole purpose of appreciating the light changes in the city.
The low-angle perspective of a famous Parisian street refers us to Monet's famous work Las Capuchinas Boulevard where the artist anticipated the same scheme that Pissarro will use here. The painting is loose, almost sketchy, a freedom that reveals the influences ofan earlier stage in which the artist followed Sisley's pointillist technique.