A painting by Giuseppe De Nittis depicting La Parfumerie Violet, Boulevard des Capucines in 1880.
The Italian painter is a lesser known but very interesting representative of the movement of impressionism who has left some breathtakingly beautiful images of Paris in which characters seem to be at once photographied and rendered more poetically evocative. It is uncanny to see how De Nittis is able to capture movement and the tension of life even when his subjects are seated and moving little.
De Nittis had an eye for those little details that make up the texture of daily life...
La Parfumerie Violet is almost like a blackened daguerreotype. You don't find in this painting his exquisite sense of luminosity, except in reverse, but you do catch a realistic glimpse of a street corner in Paris in 1880 as if it were a snapshot of the hurried steps of Parisians. I love the way the street lamp is reflected in the glass pane of the shop window.
The Violet perfumery had another address at 137, rue Saint Denis in a store that bore their second brand name A La Reine des Abeilles. They were the official purveyors to Empress Eugénie de Montijo and Queen Elizabeth II of Spain, the latter of whom they were allowed to advertise the coat of arms on their products.