One of a series of fourteen works painted between February and April, Boulevard Montmartre: Spring epitomizes Pissarro’s ability to seize unique moments, such as a specific hour or season. From his hotel room overlooking the boulevard, he captured the life and movement of the street in small, rapid brushstrokes. Pissarro considered his work very modern in conception: “I am delighted to be able to paint these Paris streets that people have come to call ugly, but which are so silvery, so luminous and vital.”
Until 1935, Boulevard Montmartre: Spring was in the collection of Max Silberberg, a Jewish industrialist and art collector from Breslau, Germany. It was then sold in a forced sale by Paul Graupe’s auction house in Berlin. Max Silberberg and most of his family perished in the Holocaust.
In 1999, representatives of the Silberberg Estate asked the Museum and its American Friends to make restitution of the painting. Ownership was restored to Max Silberberg’s daughter-in-law and heir. Boulevard Montmartre: Spring remains in Jerusalem on extended loan through her generosity.
Formerly a bequest of John and Frances L. Loeb, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, Now extended loan from the daughter-in-law of Max Silberberg, Breslau