Camille Pissaro, Barges ib the Seine at bougival, 1871, Private Collection

When Pissarro returned from England in 1871 to settle once more at Louveciennes, the banks of the Seine and above all life on the river were his favourite subjects. A painter of modernity, he was the first to “show” barges going upstream or remaining motionless as they went through the locks.
He set up his easel near the locks to paint barge activity on the river. There are signs of life in the form of smoke coming out of the funnels of the barges, which had recently been equipped with steam engines or tugboats to guide them. Even the wake left by the boats is made visible by reflections in the water.
The importance given to the sky which is reflected with colourful strokes on the surface of the water is stunning in the work of Pissarro.
This picture reflects the changes in his painting that he presented at the eight impressionist exhibitions in which he faithfully took part.