The Impressionist Pissarro

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The French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro was born on July 10th 1830, and died in November 13th 1903, his importance resides not only in his visual contributions to Impressionism and other related movements, but also in his patriarchal standing among his colleagues, particularly Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin.

Camille Pissarro

Jacob-Abraham-Camille Pissarro was born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, to Abraham Gabriel, a Portuguese Sephardic Jew, and Rachel Manzana-Pomié, from the Dominican Republic. He lived in St. Thomas until age 12, when he went to a boarding school in Paris. He returned to St. Thomas where he drew in his free time. Pissarro was attracted to political anarchy, an attraction that may have originated during his years in St. Thomas. In 1852, he traveled to Venezuela with the Danish artist Fritz Melbye. In 1855, he left for Paris, where he studied at various academic institutions (including the École des Beaux-Arts and Académie Suisse) and under a succession of masters, such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, and Charles-François Daubigny. Corot is sometimes considered his most important early influence; He listed himself as Corot’s pupil in the catalogues to the 1864 and 1865 Paris Salons.

Graphic: Jallais Hill Pontoise-landscape

His finest early works (See Jalais Hill, Pontoise, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) are characterized by a broadly painted (sometimes with palette knife) naturalism derived from Courbet, but with an incipient Impressionist palette.

Subject: Urban and Rural French Life

He painted rural and urban French life, particularly landscapes in and around Pontoise, as well as scenes from Montmartre. His mature work displays an empathy for peasants and laborers, and sometimes evidences his radical political leanings. He was a mentor to Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin and his example inspired many younger artists, including Californian Artist Lucy Bacon. His influence on his fellow painers is probably still underestimated; not only did he offer substantial contributions to the Movement's theory, but he also managed to remain on friendly, mutually respectful terms with such difficult personalities as Edgar Degas, Cézanne and Gauguin. He exhibited at all eight of the Movement's exhibitions. Moreover, whereas Monet was the most prolific and emblematic practitioner of the Movement's style, Pissarro was nonetheless a primary developer of the Movement's technique.

Book Review

Here is a charming little book called Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Countryby Karen Levitov. (If you click on the text link it takes you to Amazon where you can find out more!) It is compact enough to be a great gift for Pissarro fans! Also, I found this short review by, "Lizbeth:"

A very handsome little paperback with beautiful reproductions and nice account of Pissarro, his taste for rural subjects, and so-called "dirty" painting style.

Collectable Posters.....

Here are some lovely posters. If you click on the graphic it will take you to Allposters where you can actually see them in a bigger size and even framed on a wall....isn't technology great?
Self-Portrait, c.1873

Pissarro, Camille
Self Portrait

Gathering Apples, from Travaux Des Champs, Engraved by Lucien Pissarro
Gathering Apples- Egraving

The Impressionists - Camile Pissarro - Boulevard des Italiens
Boulivard des Italians


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