Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
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Camille Pissarro was a pivotal figure of Impressionism, perhaps the world’s most famous art movement. He also tackled different forms of Neoimpressionism, while maintaining very personal characteristics in his art all throughout his life. A key figure in the Impressionist movement and a participant in every one of their exhibitions, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was considered the patriarch of the group. Born in the Danish West Indies, he travelled to Venezuela, and studied with Corot in France, who influencedhis early works and who triggered his passion to paint outdoors. His style evolved as he progressed in life, influenced too by the debateswith his fellow-painters.After the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he moved to England, but his style of painting, which was a forerunnerof the"Impressionism", did not do very well.Like Degas, Pissarro was a great draughtsman. His representations of rural and urban life are often closely intertwined with his social concerns and anarchist beliefs. A quintessential artist ahead of his time, Pissaro sold very few works during his lifetime.



Publié par
Date de parution 11 avril 2018
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781683256762
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 55 Mo

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Klaus H. Karl
Baseline Co. Ltd
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© Confidential Concepts, worldwide, USA
© Parkstone Press International, New York, USA
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyrights on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case we would appreciate notification.
ISBN: 978-1-68325-676-2
Klaus H. Karl


“What Pissarro says is true – the effects colours produce through their harmonies or dischords should be boldly exaggerated.”
— Vincent Van Gogh
The Impressionists and Academic Painting
The Artist
List of Illustrations
Self-Portrait (Camille Pissarro, A Self-Portrait), c. 1890
Eetching (zinc) 18.7 x 17.7 cm. Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
1830:   Jacob Camille Pissarro is born in St Thomas in the West Indies, to French Jewish parents.
1842:   He is sent to a boarding school just outside Paris to receive an early education, where his first signs of artistic talent become apparent.
1847:   Returns home to St Thomas to work in the family business, although he devotes much of his free time to drawing and sketching.
1852:   Having little interest in the family business, Pissarro, accompanied by Danish painter Fritz Melbye, heads to Venezuela, where he works as an artist for two years.
1855:   Arrives in Paris where he settles down to live, and visits the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), which includes a large art section. He is impressed by Jean-Baptise Camille Corot’s landscape paintings, and begins studying at such institutions as the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Académie Suisse , where he forms a friendship with Monet.
1859:   Sends works to the official Salon , where he is admitted to exhibit.
1860:   Moves in with Julie Vellay, his future wife.
1861:   Meets Guillaumin and Cézanne at the Charles Académie Suisse .
1863:   Gets rejected by the Salon , and exhibits at the Salon des Refusés .
1866:   Pissarro and his family settle down in Pontoise, where he would work frequently with Cézanne. During this time, he fully develops his independent Impressionist style. Meets Manet in Café Guerbois in Paris. Gets his works admitted to the Salon . Pissarro is singled out in a review of the Salon by the young literary figure Emile Zola.
1869:   Pissarro and his family move to Louveciennes.
1870:   Participates in his last official Salon . During the Franco-Prussian war, Pissarro resides in Brittany for a short period, and then seeks refuge in London with Monet. He leaves all his paintings behind in Louveciennes, most of which will be destroyed.
1871:   Marries Julie Vellay, with whom he has seven children, five of which would later become artists.
1872:   Forms a collaboration with Cézanne, which marks an important part of art history.
1874:   Takes part in the first Impressionist Exhibition, of which he was a key instigator. Pissarro is the only artist of the group to participate in all eight of these exhibitions. Joins Monet in a project to organise independent Impressionist exhibitions.
1876:   Paints The Garden of Les Mathurins at Pontoise . He is among the first artists to divide colours, which is evident in this painting. Eugène Murer, the owner of a restaurant on the Boulevard Voltaire, asks Renoir and Pissarro to paint the interior of the restaurant’s dining-room, where he would feed groups of artists every week, free of charge.
1880:   He begins to add figures to his work, giving them a more decorative character.
1884:   Pissarro is financially stable enough to buy a house in Éragny, where he will remain until his death.
1885:   Experiments with new techniques and approaches, as he meets with a younger generation of artists, searching for fresh ideas. He is particularly attracted to Seurat’s style, which he tries to adopt, but with limited success.
1892:   Large retrospective of Pissarro’s works, finally allowing him to gain international recognition.
1903:   November 13 th , Pissarro dies in Paris at the age of seventy-three.
The prescient title of one of Claude Monet’s (1840-1926) paintings shown in 1874 in the first exhibition of the Impressionists, or as they called themselves then, the Société anonyme des artistes, peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs (the Anonymous Society of Artists, Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers), was Impressionism: Sunrise. Monet had gone painting in his childhood hometown of Le Havre to prepare for the event, eventually selecting his best Havre landscapes for display. Edmond Renoir, journalist and brother of Renoir the painter, compiled the catalogue. He criticised Monet for the uniform titles of his works, for the painter had not come up with anything more interesting than View of Le Havre . Among these Havre landscapes was a canvas painted in the early morning depicting a blue fog that seemed to transform the shapes of yachts into ghostly apparitions. The painting also depicted smaller boats gliding over the water in black silhouette, and above the horizon the flat, orange disk of the sun, its first rays casting an orange path across the sea. It was more like a rapid study than a painting, a spontaneous sketch done in oils – what better way to seize the fleeting moment when sea and sky coalesce before the blinding light of day? View of Le Havre was obviously an inappropriate title for this particular painting, as Le Havre was nowhere to be seen. “Write Impression, ” Monet told Edmond Renoir, and in that moment began the story of Impressionism.
On 25 April 1874, the art critic Louis Leroy (1812-1885) published a satirical piece in the journal Charivari, that described a visit to the exhibition by an official artist. As he moves from one painting to the next, the artist slowly goes insane. He mistakes the surface of a painting by Camille Pissarro, depicting a ploughed field, for shavings from an artist’s palette carelessly deposited onto a soiled canvas. When looking at the painting he is unable to tell top from bottom, or one side from the other. He is horrified by Monet’s landscape entitled Boulevard des Capucines . Indeed, in Leroy’s satire, it is Monet’s work that pushes the academician over the edge. Stopping in front of one of the Havre landscapes, he asks what Impression: sunrise depicts. “Impression, of course,” mutters the academician. “I said so myself, too, because I am so impressed, there must be some impression in here… and what freedom, what technical ease!” At which point he begins to dance a jig in front of the paintings, exclaiming: “Hey! Ho! I’m a walking impression, I’m an avenging palette knife.” Leroy called his article, “The Exhibition of the Impressionists.” With typical French finesse, he had adroitly coined a new word from the painting’s title, a word so fitting that it was destined to remain forever in the vocabulary of the history of art.
Responding to questions from a journalist in 1880, Monet said:
I’m the one who came up with the word, or who at least, through a painting that I had exhibited, provided some reporter from Le Figaro the opportunity to write that scathing article. It was a big hit, as you know.

A Creek in St Thomas (Virgin Islands), 1856
Oil on canvas, 24.5 x 32.2 cm. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Barge, 1864
Oil on canvas. Musée Camille Pissarro, Pontoise

The Marne at Chennevières, c. 1864-1865
Oil on canvas, 91.5 x 145.5 cm. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

The Donkey Ride at La Roche-Guyon, 1864-1865
Oil on canvas, 37 x 53 cm. Private collection, London

The House of Père Gallien, Pontoise, 1866
Oil on canvas, 40 x 55 cm. Ipswich Borough Council Museums and Galleries, Ipswich (Suffolk)

A Square in La Roche-Guyon, 1866-1867
Oil on canvas, 51 x 61 cm. Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin

Still Life, 1867
Oil on canvas, 81 x 99.7 cm. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo (Ohio)
The Impressionists and Academic Painting
The young men who would become the Impressionists formed a group in the early 1860s. Claude Monet, son of a Le Havre shopkeeper, Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870), son of a wealthy Montpellier family, Alfred Sisley (1839-1899), son of an English family living in France, and Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), son of a Parisian tailor, had all come to study painting in the independent studio of Charles Gleyre (1806-1874), whom in their view was the only teacher who truly personified Neoclassical painting.
Gleyre had just turned sixty when he met the future Impressionists. Born in Switzerland on the banks of Lake Léman, he had lived in France since childhood. After graduating from the École des Beaux

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