2009 Artof Pissarro2 Text

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THE ART OF PISSARRO (Part 2)
THE ART OF PISSARRO surveys the long and productive life and paintings of JACOB CAMILLE PISSARRO. He was called the “Father of Impressionism” for his knowledge and support of those artists. He explored many subjects and a variety of aesthetic approaches in his paintings. He always glorified the landscapes and the people in his works. He said he saw “Beauty in spots where others see nothing.” (1893)

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2009 Artof Pissarro2 Text

  1. 1. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 0. THIS MATERIAL IS FOR EDUCATIONAL USE ONLY 1. THE ART OF PISSARRO Part Two: PEOPLE Pissarro, L.& Rewald, J. (Ed.) (1981). Letters to His son Lucien. Nov. 20, 1883, p. 38. In Schirrmeister, A. (1982). Camille Pissarro. NY: The Metropolitan Mus. Review: 1830: Jacob Camille Pissarro born on July 10th in St. Thomas 1842-47: Studies in France 1855: Returns to France permanently 1859: Salon accepts one of his landscapes 1860: Becomes friendly with Ludovic Piette and with Julie Vellay 1862: Julie has a miscarriage 1863: On February 20th, their son Lucien is born 1864: Visits Piette in Montfoucault 1865: Daughter, Jeanne-Rachel is born 1868: Salon accepts two of his Pontoise landscapes 1870: Salon accepts two landscapes. He flees Louveciennes during Franco-Prussian War Marries Julie in London while staying at home of half-sister 1871: Sells two paintings to Paul Durand-Ruel In November, their son Georges is born 1872: Settles in Pontoise with Cezanne 1873: His paintings bring high prices at various auctions He and Monet organize independent exhibitions opposed to Salon 1874: 1st exhibition of “Impressionists” dubbed by ironic critic In April, daughter Jeanne-Rachel (Minette) dies at age 9 In July, son Felix is born 1875: spends fall at Piette’s in Montfoucault 1876: Shows 12 works in the 2nd Impressionist exhibition 1877: His works bring very low prices at auction Ludovic Piette dies 1878: In September, his son Ludovic-Rodolphe is born 1879: Pissarro shows 38 works in 4th Impressionist Exhibition 1880: Sends 11 paintings and etchings to the 5th Impressionist exhibition 1881: Participates with 11 landscapes in 6th Impressionist Exhibition In August, his daughter Jeanne is born 1882: Sends 36 canvases and gouaches to the 7th Impressionist Exhibition 1884: Leaves Osny for Eragny near Gisors (Eure) Their last child, Paul Emile is born Pissarro is faced with grave financial problems. 1886: Exhibits 20 ‘divisionist’ paintings in 8th Impressionist Exhibition 1887: Durand-Ruel refuses to buy his recent, pointillist paintings Pissarro is again in financial straits Julie is so discouraged that she considers suicide 1889: Suffers from chronic eye infection 1890: Abandons divisionism Theo asks Camille to accept Vincent as a boarder Mme Pissarro objects to a SICK man among her small children Camille listens to his wife! (BIBLICAL CITATION!) M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 1
  2. 2. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 1892: Durand-Ruel organizes very successful retrospective Lucien marries Esther Bensusan, a Sephardic Jew (What are the chances of this happening? The implication is that some Jewish attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors were transmitted to his son. These are all cultural characteristics). 1897: In November, son Felix dies in England at age 23 Exhibits in Pittsburgh at the Second International Show 1901: Dies of blood poisoning from an abcess of the prostate 1905: Lucien wrote to his mother: “Don’t worry about father, HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN….when he does come up, it will be for good. (Jewish phrase: MAY HIS MEMORY BE FOR A BLESSING!) 2. MAP Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. These are some of the sites around Paris where Pissarro painted 1855-57: moves to France 1858: Sets up studio in Paris 1863: Moves to La Varenne-saint-Hillaire,near Marne river 1866: Moves to L’Hermitage, a small hamlet in Pontoise 1869: Moves to Louveciennes, about 20 miles from Paris 1870: Franco-Prussian war begins 7/19. Dec.-moves to London 1871: Returns to Louveciennes; house wrecked by soldiers 1872: Moves back to Pontoise The homeopathic doctor Dr. Paul Gachet had a house nearby He had treated Pissarro’s mother, Rachel, in Paris in 1865 and after 1874: Visits Piette at Montfoucault; earliest peasant paintings 1882: Left Pontoise for Eragny and stayed until death 3. PISSARRO PAINTING OUTSIDE-Ludovic Piette, 1874-76 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. Private collection, Paris 1873: His paintings bring high prices at various auctions He and Monet organize independent exhibitions opposed to Salon 1874: 1st exhibition of “Impressionists” dubbed by ironic critic In April, daughter Jeanne-Rachel (Minette) dies at age 9 In July, son Felix is born 1875: spends fall at Piette’s in Montfoucault Montfoucault offered Pissarro isolation from Paris and Pontoise It offered an opportunity to study peasant life on its own, directly Montfoucault is a tiny hamlet, with approximately 50 inhabitants, It consisted of 2 or 3 farms and some 5 or 6 houses It is virtually on the border between Brittany and Normandy The nearest town is 12 to 15 miles This sense of distance and isolation pervades his works 1876: Shows 12 works in the 2nd Impressionist exhibition Piette painted this while Pissarro visited him at Montfoucault There the artist made about 20 painting M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 2
  3. 3. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 They include some of his earliest paintings of peasants In September, his son Ludovic-Rodolphe was born He was named in memory of his friend Ludovic Piette Naming an infant in honor and memory is a great Jewish tribute Camille had met Ludovic at the Academie Suisse around 1860 Camille went to Montfoucault during the Franco-Prussian War He and his family took refuge with Ludovic Piette and his family There is no paintings of Montfoucault during his 4-month stay there They remained friends until Piette’s death on April 15, 1878 Before they came, Piette wrote to Pissarro: “….we have to live with wolves: living in a land of prejudice. I am forced to accept it in order to avoid gossip. Consequently, as the rule goes, I must pretend that you are married, and you have to let them believe it: this will cut short all the ramblings….This is stupid but necessary.” Camille’s mother withdrew her denial of consent to a wedding She suggested that they: “wait until all these events [probably a reference to the Franco-Prussian War] are over, then you could go to London and there marry without my consent and without anyone knowing about it. I will supply you with the money for this trip. God willing.” Julie pressured Camille to marry her and legalize their union In Montfoucault, She gave birth to Adele-Emma on October 21st The infant died three weeks later, on November 15 Pissarro’s mother feared the Prussian army and left for London She sent a condolence note to her son Two weeks later their 7-month stay in London came to an end They returned to Louveciennes. 4. PORTRAIT OF MADAME PISSARRO- Camille Pissarro, 1883 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pastel. 23 3/4 x 18 1/4” (61 x 47 cm). Private collection (PV1565) Rewald, J. (1963) Pissarro. NY: Abrams Pastel. Private collection, England. 1877: His works bring very low prices at auction Ludovic Piette dies 1878: In September, his son Ludovic-Rodolphe is born 1879: Pissarro shows 38 works in 4th Impressionist Exhibition 1880: Sends 11 paintings and etchings to the 5th Impressionist exhibition 1881: Participates with 11 landscapes in 6th Impressionist Exhibition In August, his daughter Jeanne is born 1882: Sends 36 canvases and gouaches to the 7th Impressionist Exhibition Dec. 1870-July 1871: Pissarro stayed in London Pissarro left a painting at Durand-ruel’s gallery He soon received a friendly note from the dealer M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 3
  4. 4. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Camille had not yet met Durand-Ruel He wanted to know the price of the painting Durand-Ruel requested that Pissarro send him other works Durand-Ruel was the son of the dealer of the Barbizon painters Pissarro produced 15 paintings while he was in London He also did a number of works on paper of considerable variety London marked a total pictorial break for Pissarro New images, colors, techniques, and poetics were introduced These momentarily interrupted his more rigid architectonic concerns He was more inventive, pictorially daring, and more broadminded 1883: Durand-Ruel organized first one-man show of Pissarro Begins correspondence with Lucien in London Durand-Ruel opens Impressionists in London Pissarro was not successful Pissarro did this pastel drawing of Julie, his wife She is shown as soft, but resolute Julie’s Pregnancies and children: 1862: Miscarriage 1863: Lucien 1865: Jeanne-Rachel born; dies at age 9 in 1874 1870? Montfoucault on October 21st Adele-Emma was born; died on Nov. 15 1871: In November, their son Georges is born; died in 1960 1874: In July, Felix born; dies at age 23 in 1897 1878: Ludovic-Rodolphe; died in Paris in 1952 1881: Jeanne; died in Paris in 1948 1884: Paul-emile All five of Pissarro’s sons chose to become painters 5. PORTRAIT OF JEANNE- Camille Pissarro, 1898 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 25 1/4 x 21” (65 x 54 cm). Foundation Rau pour le tiers- Monde. Zurich. (PV1065) 1890: Abandons divisionism Theo asks Camille to accept Vincent as a boarder Mme Pissarro objects to a SICK man among her small children Camille listens to his wife! (BIBLICAL CITATION!) 1892: Durand-Ruel organizes very successful retrospective Lucien marries Esther Bensusan, a Sephardic Jew (What are the chances of this happening? The implication is that some Jewish attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors were transmitted to his son. These are all cultural characteristics). 1897: In November, son Felix dies in England at age 23 Exhibits in Pittsburgh at the Second International Show Pissarro continually portrayed himself and his close family He used all media Jeanne was born in 1870 only a few weeks before Adele-Emma died She is shown here at 18 years old 6. JEANNE READING- Camille Pissarro, 1899 M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 4
  5. 5. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on Canvas. 21 1/2 x 25 1/2” (551 x 654 cm). Private collection (PV 111) Jeanne is seen again the following year Here she is one component of an avant-garde composition Notice the multiple repeated abstract patterns Asymmetrical composition reflects modernists aesthetics 7. PORTRAIT OF PERE PAPEILLE- Camille Pissarro, Pontoise, c. 1874 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pastel. 21 1/2 x 18” (55 x 46 cm). Private Collection. (PV 1523) Moving back in time to a non-family member Notice the more traditional, academic paint handling Pissarro’s idea of ‘holidays’ or ‘entertainments’ was absurd He probably never took a holiday in his entire life He traveled from his home and studio only for house hunting Or, he was visiting his or his wife’s relatives He accumulated piles of visual data: memory and movement The sitter seems to stare beyond the artist 8. PORTRAIT OF MADAME F. ESTRUC- Camille Pissarro, c. 1874 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pastel. 18 x 11 1/8” (46 x 29 cm). Collection Achim Moeller fine Art, New York (PV 1521) This pastel portrait was done fairly early in Pissarro’s long career The softness of the media conveys an ephemeral quality It also provides a glowing translucence to skin tones Mme. Estruc’s gaze to the right is a casual, informal approach That was an unusual stance for the time It is as if she’d been ‘caught’ for the moment-a slice of life 9. LA MERE LARCHEVEQUE- Camille Pissarro, 1880 Rewald, J. (1963) Pissarro. NY: Abrams Pissarro examined the role and condition of peasants for many hours He accorded great dignity to their lot in life He did not dramatize or glorify He simply documented their individuality and uniqueness 10. PEASANT WOMAN- Camille Pissarro, 1880 Rewald, J. (1963) Pissarro. NY: Abrams Oil on canvas. 28 3/4 x 23 3/8” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Chester Dale Collection 1879: Pissarro worked in Pontoise The principles that informed impressionism were A rejection of traditional rules and A common search for new methods He showed 38 works in 4th Impression Exhibition 1880: Pissarro sent 11 paintings to the 5th Impressionist Exhibition M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 5
  6. 6. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 1881: He tried to avoid conflict between artists about 6th Exhibition Pissarro participated with 11 landscapes He worked with Cezanne and Gauguin in Pontoise August 1881: 2nd Daughter Jeanne was born 1882: Sent 36 canvases to the 7th Impressionist Exhibition Pissarro and his family left Pontoise finally on December 1, 1882 They initially settled in a small village called Osny They then left for Eragny Pissarro lived there until his death in 1903 11. SEATED PEASANT WOMAN- Camille Pissarro, 1885 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 28 1/4 x 23” (724 x 59 cm). Yale University Art Gallery. Gift of Mr. And Mrs. Paul Mellon, B.A. 1929 (PV676) Pissarro emphasized the poise and nobility in this peasant woman His organizational arrangement in this painting is powerful Her angled left elbow is repeated in the pattern of her scarf Her sense of concentration and stability is conveyed This painting was created with a strong sense of composition After expressing some satisfaction to Lucien at having completed, SEATED PEASANT, Pissarro defined his new method to Lucien: “I stand more than ever for the impression from memory: you get less the thing itself, but vulgarity goes also, to let the truth, half seen and felt, emerge. 12. THE YOUNG MAID- Camille Pissarro, 1896 Rewald, J. (1963) Pissarro. NY: Abrams Cogniat, R. (1975) Pissarro. New York: Crown publishers. Pissarro had an instinctive drive for independence It was an intuitive non-conformism It made him commit himself wholly to the causes he thought good These were both in the realm of art and in the field of politics This position made him aid whatever appeared original He was an ardent and courageous advocate of innovators He thought Impressionism could be fortified by a solid structure It had the power to transform revolutionary art into classicism Interaction plays an important role in Impressionism Pissarro was well aware of how the viewer reacted to his work Impressionism is a more ‘scientific’ approach to depicting color 13. WOMAN IN FRONT OF A MIRROR- Camille Pissarro, 1887 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Gouache. 12 1/2 x 9 1/2” (32 x 24 cm). Private collection. United States (PV1421) Notice the arrangement of this composition Pissarro sought a more dynamic organization for static objects His approach is a stimulating alternative to symmetrical placement Cezanne called Pissarro “the first Impressionist” M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 6
  7. 7. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Pissarro created the legal structure of the Impressionist group He established the only legal document defining its purpose and aim He was the only artist who exhibited in all 8 exhibitions He was an ‘outsider,’ or neo-Impressionist in the last exhibition His work was separate, along with Seurat, Signac, and his son Lucien Regarding Neo-Impressionism, Pissarro said in 1883: “Really Impressionism was nothing but a pure theory of observation, without losing hold of fantasy, liberty, or grandeur—in a word, of all that makes an art great.” 14. YOUNG FLEMISH MAID-Camille Pissarro, 1896 Cogniat, R. (1975) Pissarro. New York: Crown publishers. Oil on canvas. 21 7/16 x 17 3/3” Stephen Hahn Gallery. New York Once again, Pissarro’s choice of imagery is very revealing He could easily have easily omitted some objects He included the edge of the chair, open doorway and bedroom beyond He also broke up the space directly behind the seated subject His choices reflect a more ‘realistic’ or ‘’modernist’ approach He documented what existed and what he saw Pissarro was adamant about the word “SENSATION” He said that it was “the only thing that matters” This French concept of SENSATION is almost impossible to translate It corresponds to physical, sensorial experience It also carries none of the psychological connotations of EMOTION It may also overlap with FEELING When asked to define what Impressionism was about, Pissarro replied by listing the artists the Impressionists liked: “We like Delacroix, Courbet, Daumier and all those who have something in their guts.” 15. MAIDSERVANT- Camille Pissarro, 1867 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 36 1/2 x 28 1/4” (93.6 x 73.7 cm) The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA (PV53) By contrast, this painting was done nearly 30 years before Pissarro shows respect for the maidservant He also includes a bench, tree trunk, etc. Yet his paint handling is more traditional Light comes from the right and highlights the maid’s back It also creates a swath of light on the ground But there is no scintillating fragmentation of brushstroke Pissarro’s paint technique is very traditional His choice of focusing on the maid’s back is not! At this time, Pissarro’s sensitivity to the role of servants increased 16. STUDY FOR CAFÉ AU LAIT, 1881 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Black chalk. 23 x 17 14” (59.5 x 44 cm). Private Collection CAFÉ AU LAIT, 1881 M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 7
  8. 8. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 25 1/2 x 21 3/8” (65.3 x 54.8 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago. Potter Palmer Collection. 1922.436 (PV549) Rewald, J. (1963) Pissarro. NY: Abrams He observed closely and with kindness on his subject Pissarro was known for his even temper He connected to servants as equals 17. THE LITTLE COUNTRY MAID- Camille Pissarro., 1882 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 25 1/4 x 21” (65 x 54 cm). The Tate Gallery. London. (PV575) and Rewald, J. (1963) Pissarro. NY: Abrams At this time, Pissarro’s sensitivity to the role of servants increased Pissarro was also fanatical about his own work His letters to his sons communicate his ardor for his profession He had passion for its strenuous physical and mental demands 18. GIRL SEWING- Camille Pissarro., 1895 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 25 5/8 x 21 3/8” Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of Mrs. Leigh B. Block. 1959,36 (PV934) This painting was done the same year as his FOOT BATH and BATHER Notice how all the surface areas are fragmented with short strokes This exists even though he had abandoned divisionism/Impressionism His sensitivity to the play of light on various textures is clear 19. GIRL WASHING PLATES- Camille Pissarro, c. 1882 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 33 1/4 x 25 5/8” (85 x 65.7 cm) Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England (PV579) Pissarro’s choice of subject matter may remind one of Millet’s work Degas captured the essential distinction: “Millet? Yes, his sower sows for Humanity. Pissarro’s peasants work for their bread.” Even Pissarro noticed this and wrote: “They are all throwing Millet at my head, but Millet was biblical! For a Hebrew, there is not much of that in me. It’s curious!” He opposed Millet’s sentimentality in vehement terms 20. PEASANT UNTANGLING WOOL- Camille Pissarro, 1875 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 21 1/4 x 18” (55 x 46 cm). Foundation E.G. Buhrle Collection. Zurich. (PV270) The family went to Montfoucault around mid-August 1874 This was a few months after the death of their 2nd daughter, Jeanne It was also a month after the birth of their third son, Felix M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 8
  9. 9. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 They were distressed and almost penniless They stayed at the Piettes all summer Their last stay was during the autumn of 1876 Montfoucault offered Pissarro isolation from Paris and Pontoise It offered an opportunity to study peasant life in direct terms Montfoucault was a tiny hamlet, with approximately 50 inhabitants It was virtually on the border between Brittany and Normandy The nearest town is 12 to 15 miles Here a sense of distance and isolation pervades Pissarro’s works His figures in Montfoucault paintings are static Montfoucault was a place from which there is nowhere else to go 21. PEASANT WOMAN WITH BASKET- Camille Pissarro, c. 1889 Cogniat, R. (1973?) Pissarro. New York: Crown Publisher. Oil on canvas. 6 1/4” x 7” Faure Museum, Aix-les-Bains His form of Impressionism had roots in scientific principles At 55, he did not fear to commit himself to follow a new path On February 20, 1889, he wrote to Seurat: “The execution of my work is not rapid enough, in my opinion, and there is not the instantaneous reaction of the senses which I deem essential.” Pissarro advised a young painter: “An artist must seek that aspect of nature which is compatible with his temperament and choose his subject matter more for its form and color than for its design possibilities. It is futile to outline and thereby restrict forms…..Paint what you see and what you feel. Paint freely and without hesitation, for it is important to set down the first impression….You should have but one master: nature; it is she you must always consult.” 22. PEASANT WOMAN AT SPINNING WHEEL- Camille Pissarro, 1885-90??? Rewald, J. (1963). Camille Pissarro. NY: Abrams. Charcoal. Collection of Mr. And Mrs. Lazaro Phillips, Montreal. This drawing was done during a time of grave financial stress Lucien had returned to France to do illustrations for periodicals This was his effort to assist his parents financially Pissarro was enamored of Seurat’s color theories He painted his first “divisionist” canvas He explained new ‘scientific impressionism” to Durand-Ruel, dealer This shows Pissarro’s openness to new ideas, even at 55 years old 23. LA MERE PRESLY- Camille Pissarro, Montfoucault, 1874 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 28 1/4 x 23 1/2” (73 x 60 cm). Private collection (PV288) Some of Pissarro’s women peasants stuck in their immobility Pissarro visited Montfoucault many times in the mid 1870s He worked on integrating the figure into the landscape He created novel approaches He delineated figures and objects with angular contours M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 9
  10. 10. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 These are fragmented into many short straight lines They form a polygonal, almost crystal-like outline This solved the tension between the figure and its background 24. THE GARDENER, AFTERNOON SUN- Camille Pissarro, ERAGNY, 1899 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 36 x 25 1/4” (92 x 65 cm). Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (PV1079) Notice the scintillating light in this painting Pissarro broke up all surfaces into fragmentary refletions Some say that Impressionism was about painting light or atmosphere But, they painted light only as it produced shadow! Light was made visible only through its absence—shadow! Were they attempting to paint “god,” the creator of light? 25. OLD HOUSES AT ERAGNY- Camille Pissarro, c. 1885 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 18 x 21” (46 x 54 cm).Zen International Fine Art, Tokyo. (PV682) Observe the difference in the way light is handled in this painting It is not as scintillating as in the last image The difference is in the technique Pissarro used Color is not divided and as fragmented as in his later works It is called Neo-Impressionism He did a variation of this in his 26. SHEPERDESS BRINGING IN THE SHEEP- Camille Pissarro, 1886 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 18 x 15” (46 x 38 cm) Private collection (PV692) It’s almost as if Pissarro put a close-up lens on his eyes! Yet just in one year, there’s a difference in his paint application His eyes were opened to new ways of depicting light and shadow 27. SEATED PEASANT, SUNSET-Camille Pissarro, 1892 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 31 1/2 x 25 1/4” (81 x 65 cm). Private collection (PV 824) After expressing some satisfaction to his son Lucien at having completed, SEATED PEASANT, Pissarro defined his new method: “I stand more than ever for the impression from memory: you get less the thing itself, but vulgarity goes also, to let the truth, half seen and felt, emerge. Further: “Really Impressionism was nothing but a pure theory of observation, without losing hold of fantasy, liberty, or grandeur—in a word, of all that makes an art great.” 28. THE BATHER- Camille Pissarro, 1893 Cogniat, R. (1973?) Pissarro. New York: Crown Publisher M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 10
  11. 11. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Oil. 13 3/4 x 10 5/8” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Chester Dale Collection. Pissarro was in his 60s when he painted this and the following two An instantaneous reaction of the senses occurs here The woman (is she putting on or taking off her garment?)is idyllic She is sheltered by a huge tree and a soft bank A body of water reflects light on her back She is not far from a city of some sort Is this a reverie? Was she a ‘real’ person? Is this an older man’s wishful thinking? 29. BATHER IN THE WOODS- Camille Pissarro, 1895 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 23 3/4 x 28 1/4” (61 x 73 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. Bequest of Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929 (PV904) Camille’s great-grandson, Joachim Pissarro wrote of his forbear This, and the following painting, may have been done from life There is a tangible sense of actual leaves, bank, and figure Light coming from the right illuminates her back, the water, trees She seems unaware of a viewer 30. THE FOOT BATH- Camille Pissarro, 1895 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 28 1/4 x 36” (73 x 92 cm). Collection Sara Lee Corporation, Chicago. (PV903) A similar approach was taken in this painting Once again, the woman sits on the bank of a body of water She is clothed and washes her feet Her shoes are nearby Lush foliage shields her from any other people Is this a fantasy? A paradise 31. COUNTRY GIRL WITH A STICK/SEATED PEASANT-Camille Pissarro, 1881 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 31 x 25 1/4” (81 x 65 cm). MUSEE D’ORSAY, PARIS (PV540) In the 1880s, there was a paradoxical striving for simplicity Pissarro wanted to depict people as his gaze lighted on them He did not want contortion, distortion, emphasis, or embellishment In his review of the 7th Impressionist exhibition, a critic wrote: “Pissarro exhibits an entire series of peasant men and women, and once again this painter shows himself to us in a new light. The human figure takes on a biblical air in his (Millet’s) work. But not any more. Pissarro has entirely detached himself from Millet’s memory. He paints his country people without false grandeur, simply as he sees them.” 32. PEASANTS RESTING- Camille Pissarro, 1881 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 11
  12. 12. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Oil on canvas. 32 x 25 1/2” (82 x 66 cm). The Toledo Museum of art, Toledo, Ohio. Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey (PV542) He was very aware of the price of his individualistic outlook Was he stubborn? Stiff-necked? This is an adjective frequently—and biblically—given to Jews! He shrewdly observed “too serious to appeal to the masses and not enough exotic tradition to be understood by the dilettante.” 33. WOMAN AND CHILD AT THE WELL- Camille Pissarro, 1882 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 31 3/4 x 25 1/8” (81.5 x 66.4 cm) The Art Institute of Chicago. Potter Palmer Collection. 1922.436 (PV574) And Rewald, J. (1963). Camille Pissarro. Pissarro’s “biblical” quality was attributed to Millet’s influence His rejection of it is central to Pissarro’s figure paintings By extension, it is central to Pissarro’s aesthetics The ”Biblical” quality stands for a sign It was a gesture, mood, or expression It referred to an ethereal, religious, or mythical content Or, it hinted at some form of “beyond” It may have suggested An ideal A lost paradise A longing for happiness, or A striving for something other than the present conditions None of this exists in Pissarro’s figures They do not carry a message with a lofty content or any ideal Rather, the glorification is in the fact that they simply: ARE Their existence is appropriate and sufficient celebration Pissarro advised one not to impose a meaning on their reveries 34. PEASANTS CHATTING IN THE FARMYARD- Camille Pissarro, Eragny, 1895-1902 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 31 1/2 X 25 1/4” (81 X 65 CM). Private Collection. France (PV1272) 1883: Durand-Ruel organized first one-man show of Pissarro Begins correspondence with Lucien in London Durand-Ruel opens Impressionists in London Pissarro was not successful 35. TWO YOUNG PEASANTS CHATTING UNDER THE TREES- Camille Pissarro, Pontoise, 1881 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 311/2 x 25 1/4” (81 x 65 cm). Galerie Abels, Cologne (PV541) Pissarro’s choice of subject matter may remind one of Millet’s work M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 12
  13. 13. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Degas captured the essential distinction: “Millet? Yes, his sower sows for Humanity. Pissarro’s peasants work for their bread.” Even Pissarro noticed this and wrote: “they are all throwing Millet at my head, but Millet was biblical! For a Hebrew, there is not much of that in me. It’s curious!” He opposed Millet’s sentimentality in vehement terms 36. PEASANT GATHERING GRASS- Camille Pissarro, 1881 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 45 1/4 x 35” (116 x 90 cm). Private collection. France (PV543) Formal analysis of the composition is a modernist’s approach The diagonal of the peasant is ‘stopped’ by the tree trunks Her white scarf and collar contrast with the dark earth Heavily textured grasses contrast with broad areas of blue Horizontal background sky balances foreground darkness 37. WOMEN GATHERING GRASS- Camille Pissarro, 1883 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 25 1/4 x 21” (65 x 54 cm). Private collection. (PV616) Notice aspects of the composition that lead to formal analysis That is the aesthetic approach of modernism The angles of the grass edges lead the viewers eye to the figures The horizontal landscape stops the eye from going off the canvas The soft trees contrast with the sharp angles 38. APPLE PICKERS- Camille Pissarro, 1881 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 25 1/4 x 21” (65 x 54 cm). Private collection. (PV616) Compositional Analysis: Verticals of left figure repeated in stick, tree trunk and far figure Repetition creates emphasis and is a design element in modernism Diagonal shade area is repeated in row of bushes in back Figure in lower right is a ‘slice of life’ for highlight reality! 39. APPLE PICKING AT ERAGNY- Camille Pissarro, 1888 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Gouache. 18 x 23” (46 x 59 cm). Collection William Kelly Simpson, New York (PV 1423) Pissarro put a grid over this painting He did that in order to convert it to a larger oil painting He did keep the basic mathematical relationships in converting This painting is done in Gouache It is an opaque water-based paint, like poster paint 40. PICKING APPLES- Camille Pissarro, ERAGNY, c. 1888 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 13
  14. 14. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Oil on canvas. 23 X 28 1/2” (59 x 72.4 cm). Dallas Museum of Art, Munger fund (PV726) This is the painting based on the earlier gouache Notice how the surface comes ‘alive’ with color This is the result of many small dots of color placed side by side The colors ‘mix’ in the eye of the viewer, created a dynamic vibrancy Note the introduction of curving rows or gullies in the field The figures are moved further away This is to introduce the dramatic and scintillating shadow All of this was consciously thought out by Pissarro as he worked 41. APPLE PICKING AT ERAGNY- Camille Pissarro, 1888 PICKING APPLES- Camille Pissarro, ERAGNY, c. 1888 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Now look at them side by side and compare Fascinating, eh? 42. LA PERE MELON SAWING WOOD- Camille Pissarro, 1879 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 35 1/4 X 45 5/8” (89 X 117 CM). The Robert Holmes a Court Collection. Perth, Western Australia (PV499) Private Collection (PV824) Different angles and forces form an ensemble of orthogonal lines They infuse the work with an inner dynamism. A backdrop of greens acts as a tapestry of myriad comma-like touches This is one of the first signs of Pissarro’s interest in divisionism 43. LA PERE MELON RESTING- Camille Pissarro, 1879 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 21 x 25 1/4” (54 x 65 cm). Private collection, New York (PV498) Pissarro placed Pere Melon in the center of his canvas He is ‘enclosed’ by the gully at the lower left As well as the foliage and the basket and hoe on the right The paint handling of the grasses is dynamic It contrasts with his blue/white shirt 44. PEASANT DIGGING- Camille Pissarro,, 1882 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 25 1/4 x 21” (65 x 54 cm) Private collection. Switzerland (PV577) Pissarro’s figures are simple and sincere They are not on show and no pretense animates their action They have nothing to say: They are absorbed by their own reverie or their chores Pissarro gave repeated voice to a dream: “I believe that there will be another generation who will be more sincere, more studious, and less malign, who will achieve the dream.” M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 14
  15. 15. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 (PROPHECY?) Pissarro was interested in the unfathomable aspect of his figures’ He called their dreams ‘ABSOLUTE LIBERTY” This was pertinent to the artistic individual factor—the SENSATION 45. FROST, YOUNG PEASANT MAKING A FIRE-Camille Pissarro, 1888 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 36 1/4 x 16 1/4” (93 x 93 cm) Sotheby’s New York (PV722) Was Pissarro’s dream influenced by his Jewish heritage? “I believe that there will be another generation who will be more sincere,more studious, and less malign, who will achieve the dream.” Specifically, “L’Dor v’Dor” (from one generation to the next)….. Perhaps? 46. MAKING PEA TRELLISES- Camille Pissarro, 1887 Cogniat, R. (1973?) Pissarro. New York: Crown Publisher. Oil. Faue Museum, Ais les-Bains He was very aware of the price of his individualistic outlook Was he stubborn? Stiff-necked? This is an adjective frequently—and biblically—given to Jews! He shrewdly observed “too serious to appeal to the masses and not enough exotic tradition to be understood by the dilettante.” 47. WOMEN PLANTING PEASTICKS- Camille Pissarro, date? Thomson, R. (1990). Camille Pissarro. NY: New Amsterdam Books. Pissarro abhorred any art whose function was to deliver a message He equated anarchy, art, nature, living, and the beautiful His new understanding was not Idealistic nor materialistic religious nor socialist literary nor factual symbolist nor realist representational nor illustrative Each of these would hobble or circumscribe his SENSATION Pissarro’s figures are simple and sincere They are not on show and no pretense animates their action They have nothing to say: They are absorbed by their own reverie or their chores 48. PICKING PEAS- Camille Pissarro,, 1881 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 23 1/4 x 28 1/4” (60 x 73 cm). Private collection (PV 519) What can we, who do not pick peas, learn from this painting? 49. PICKING PEAS- Camille Pissarro, 1887 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 15
  16. 16. THE ART OF PISSARRO-Part 2 Gouache. 20 1/4 x 24 1/4” (52 x 63 cm). Private collection (PV1408) What does this work tell us about their lives? And about our lives? 50. PICKING PEAS- Camille Pissarro,, ERAGNY, c. 1893 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 18 x 21 1/2” (45 x 55 cm). The Langmatt Foundation, Sidney and Jenny Brown, Baden, Switzerland (PV857) Why would Pissarro focus on the same subject many times? These last three paintings cover a period of 12 years 51. Camille Pissarro wrote: “Painting, art in general, enchants me. It is my life. What else matters? When you put all your soul into a work, all that is noble in you, you cannot fail to find a kindred soul who understands you, and you do not need a host of such spirits. Is that not all an artist should wish for?” Was Pissarro committed to ‘REPAIRING THE WORLD?” This Jewish tradition (Pirke Avot-Ethics of the Fathers) requires you to be the best that YOU can be 52. IT IS SAID THAT: THE LOVE OF ART CANNOT BE TAUGHT 53. SO I HOPE I’VE MADE THE ART OF PISSARRO….. M. Teck, Ph. D. 12/29/09, 16

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