THE ART OF PISSARRO 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. “ 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) requires you to be the best that YOU can be!
SELF-PORTRAIT by Camille Pissarro, 1853-54 Bretell, R. & Zukowski, K. (1997) Pissarro in the Caribbean, 1850-1855: Drawings from the Collection at Olana St. Thomas: Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas This is one of the earliest Self-Portraits by Camille Pissarro He was about 23 when he did this self-portrait It may have been done while he was in Caracas, Venezuela Young Camille grew up in a household of real comfort The Pissarros were members of the extensive Jewish community This Jewish community was on the island as early as the 17 th century 1795-They created a formal religious organization The island had an unusually high degree of religious tolerance Its economy was mercantile, not agricultural Its society was not dominated by slavery He received his early education at the protestant Moravian School A majority of the students were of African descent He had the opportunity to practice respect and tolerance of others He had learned that at home Charlotte Amalie was multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, & multi-religious These “life lessons” were central to his own system of values 1841- He was sent to France at 11 His grandparents: Joseph/Anne-Felicite Pissarro looked after him During the 5 years that Camille spent at the Pension Savary in Paris, his family kept an apartment in Passy, a suburb of Paris. On Thursdays and Sundays, Camille regularly visited the Louvre Upon graduation in 1847, he returned to Saint Thomas That voyage took 2 weeks He left Paris just as the revolution ended the July Monarchy Louis-Philippe I was toppled in 1848 The short-lived Second Republic was established Saint Thomas was in equal turmoil The slaves of Sainte Croix, a neighboring island, began a revolt This led to the freedom of all slaves in the Virgin Islands Camille wanted to break the bonds that tied [him] to bourgeois life
SAINT THOMAS GRIS-GRIS-Camille Pissarro, 1854-55 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Dimensions Unknown. Whereabouts Unknown Pissarro’s life is the human and aesthetic history of Impressionism He supported the most liberal social movements of his epoch He even championed anarchy His life spanned from Romanticism to the New Republic He was always the elder statesman for the Impressionists Pissarro inherited a good deal of his family’s work ethic
DRAWING OF FRITZ MELBYE -Camille Pissarro, 1852 Brettell, R. & Zukowski, K. (1996). Camille Pissarro in the Caribbean, 1850-1855 . St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Graphite and watercolor Cream medium weight wove paper. 10 1/2 x 13 1/2”. Accession: OL1982 304P-16 This was a quick sketch of Camille’s friend Fritz painting The drawing was done with graphite/pencil and watercolor It was drawn/painted on ‘wove’ paper That term describes the way in which the paper was created The mashed paper pulp is placed on a woven brass wire mould It frequently has watermarked letters sewed into the mould It brings to mind this poem: RAGS make paper, PAPER makes money, MONEY makes banks, BANKS make loans, LOANS make beggars, BEGGARS make RAGS. Author unknown, 18 th c.
THE ARTIST’S STUDIO IN CARACAS - Camille Pissarro , 1851 Brown wash over graphite. Collection of Banco Central de Venezuela Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. P.23. He went with his friend, the Danish painter Fritz Melbye Melbye was in the Caribbean to study the flora and fauna He was on assignment from the Danish government He made many drawings and his first watercolorsThe brown wash is the neutral tone made of watercolor paint and water
CAMPFIRE SCENE-Camille Pissarro, Venezuela, 1853 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. India Ink. 5 1/4 x 41/2” (14.1 x 11.5 cm) Private Collection, United States. Courtesy of Angela Nevill. Drawing was ingrained in Pissarro’s practice Throughout his life, he carried sketchbooks and pads of paper He also carried stretched canvases and tubes of paint
TREES AND FIGURES-Camille Pissarro, , 1952-54 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pencil, dimensions unknown Whereabouts unknown Throughout his life, he equated the production of art with “work” He was a prodigious and regular art worker He thought regular exercise and practice of art was necessary His early work documented the life of St. Thomas at that time
PALM TREE-Camille Pissarro, Venezuela, 1853 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pencil formerly Collection Ludovic-Rodolph Pissarro, Paris In France, he painted tropical landscapes from memory
BANANA TREES- Camille Pissarro, 1853 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. P.23. Watercolor over graphite Collection of Banco Central de Venezuela Control, order, and objectivity are his stylistic characteristics He seemed to have an innate sense of geometry He used an intermittent use of freely applied watercolor It shows his heightened, excited response to the tropical vegetation
WOODED LANDSCAPE ON SAINT THOMAS-Camille Pissarro, 1854-55 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pencil. 13 1/2 x 10 1/4” (34.5 x 27.7 cm) Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 1855-Father permitted Camille to return to France and study art He Attended the 1 st International Exhibition He admired the work of Corot and visited him Fritz’s brother Anton later introduced him to Camille Corot Corot became Pissarro’s adviser
WOMAN CARRYING PITCHER-Camille Pissarro, 1854 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams In July 1848, slavery was abolished throughout the virgin Islands At 19, Camille had witnessed a slave uprising This may have been the origin of his liberal social values He was committed to individual liberty and freedom of religion One paradox of his early years was is choice of exotic subjects 1855-1858: The first 8 paintings done in France all depict St Thomas
NATIVE HUT NEAR CARACAS- Camille Pissarro, Venezuela, 1854 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Ink Wash. Hammer Galleries, NY He had an interest in ordinary people going about their daily chores It remained an unflagging theme for Pissarro He dedicated his life and career to art while living in St. Thomas
BRIDGE AT CARACAS Camille Pissarro , 1854 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Pissarro did some of his paintings of Caracas after he left there His skill in the arrangement of the various elements is shown And a special skill in establishing the spatial intervals Although the subject/bridge is almost dead center Notice the palm tree in the upper left It is balanced by the people in the lower right
LOVERS MEETING-Camille Pissarro, 1852 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pen and ink over pencil. 67/8 x 111/4” (17.7 x 30 cm) Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas In LOVERS’ MEETING, de-sentimentalizing is apparent The well is used as a public laundry Women and children gather to do their washing and gossip No trace of romantic encounters can be detected in this depiction Why would Camille title this drawing “Lovers Meeting?” Was he referring to the Biblical story of Isaac and Rebecca?
PISSARRO IN AN ARGENTINIAN GAUCHO COSTUME , c. 1855 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Photograph, Musee Pissarro Archives, Pontoise This photograph was probably taken just before he went to France While there he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts At the 1855 Paris Universal Exposition he saw many artworks Among those represented were Corot, Delacroix, and Courbet
STUDY OF A SEATED MAN Camille Pissarro , 1852-54 Pencil and pen and ink, 7 x 101/2” (18 x 27 cm). Private collection, Venezuela Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. His early work has many more Afro- than Euro-Caribbeans Most of the figures are black in his first group of French paintings Pissarro had economic success when he was in Caracas This led his father to support his son’s art training in France He and Fritz may have wanted to export these images Europe was interested in its distant colonies He shows a distance between the viewer/artist and the sitter/subject This does not breach the model’s private space The character’s face remains undemonstrative
HEAD OF A SEATED WOMAN, 1852-54 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Pencil, dimensions unknown Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas IN HEAD OF A SEATED WOMAN , the model is close A few hatchings and some crossed lines illuminate her presence
ARTIST’S MOTHER (RACHEL)-Camille Pissarro, Paris, 1856 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams Pencil. Formerly Collection Lucien Pissarro, London His parents made important contributions These were to the Hebrew Congregation and the St. Thomas community Pissarro was born in The family home at 14 Dronningens Gade It still stands and bears the name “Pissarro building”
MADAME PISSARRO SEWING-Camille Pissarro, 1858 Cogniat, R. (1975) Pissarro. New York: Crown publishers. Oil. 6 1/4” x 4 3/8” Ashmoleum Museum, Oxford 1865- Frederick died He left an unusual beque st He left an equal sum to the synagogue and the Protestant church The reason(s) are not known—but open to much speculation He did not include Camille in his will! A central concept throughout Pissarro’s life was FREEDOM! He rejected sentimentality in art He also rebelled against anything that stood in the way of “ ART” and especially, art seen through our “ SENSATIONS”
MADAME JULIE 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) He met Julie Vellay in 1859 1860-She became pregnant with his child That pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, or possibly a stillborn His parents vehemently opposed this liaison with a servant 1865- Camille and Julie already had a two-year old child, Lucien Julie was again pregnant with their first daughter, Jeanne. 1871-They were wed 1873-Pissarro depended on his mother for financial support He was 43 years old!
DONKEY IN FRONT OF A FARM- Montmorency, 1858 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. Musee D’Orsay, Paris, France. R.F. 1943-38 This work was his first painting accepted into the Salon
WOMEN IN FIELDS-Camille Pissarro, 1863 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist Landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. 1855, he realized that he could no longer paint exotic landscapes He had been relying on his memories Decided that first hand observation was best for him Camille Corot advised him: “ You must go to the fields, the Muse is in the woods”
BANKS OF THE MARNE -Camille Pissarro, 1864 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams. Oil on canvas. 81.9 x 107.9 cm. Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum Pissarro met Cezanne around 1859 or 1860 They painted alongside one another and became close friends That is when THE BANKS OF THE MARNE IN WINTER was painted
BANKS OF THE MARNE AT CHENNEVIERES- Camille Pissarro , 1865 Pissarro, J. (1993). Camille Pissarro. New York: Harry Abrams This sketch for BANKS OF THE MARNE was painted on a fresh canvas Pissarro occasionally did reuse his canvases Pissarro submitted BANKS OF THE MARNE AT CHENNEVIERES in 1865 That was for his Salon entry It is an expansive and powerful work It also reflects the influence of Daubigny in the choice of motif After 1865-his treatment of landscape moves toward abstraction They show his technical and compositional innovations This is at the end of his formative years 1865-Camille moved out of Paris and settled in Pontoise in 1866 He kept a pied-a-Terre in Paris 1865-Pissarro’s father dies on January 22 nd He exhibits a landscape at the Salon as a “pupil of Corot” His daughter, Jeanne-Rachel was born She was named in honor of his mother It is a Sephardic custom to name for the living
BANKS OF THE MARNE IN WINTER- Camille Pissarro , 1866 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. 36 1/8 x 59 1/8 in. (91.8 x 150.2 cm) The Art Institute of Chicago Mr. And Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Fund, 1957.306 In 1866, Pissarro moved his family to Pontoise for the first time He always alternated with short stays in Paris In the Salon of 1866, Pissarro exhibited this ambitious work It is a daring and realistic view of a gloomy winter day It produced the first important reviews of his career This work must have been immensely important to Pissarro It remained in his personal collection until his death It survived the invasion of his home in Louveciennes That was by the German army in 1870-71 Emile Zola saw Pissarro’s lack of appeal for the conventional critics This was due to his bleak choice of subject and rough technique Zola said: “ What a clumsy fellow you are, sir—you are one artist I like.” . 1870-71: Most of his paintings were destroyed This was during the Franco-Prussian War
TREE LINED LANE- Camille Pissarro , 1864 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 14 x 10 7/8 in. (35.5 x 27.5 cm) Private Collection. Tampa, FL This work feels like of a rapid sketch It is immediate and spontaneous It has a thick, painterly style typical of his early career
HOUSES AT BOUGIVAL- Camille Pissarro , 1870 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 35 x 45 5/8 in. (88.9 x 115.9 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. This is an unpretentious scene of peasants, a garden and houses The viewer sees through a screen of delicately painted leaves They flicker in broad daylight Several figures are dwarfed by tall trees and buildings They add an element of intimacy to this fairly large composition This work may have been shown in the Salon of 1870 It was the last Salon of the Second Empire It was also the last in which Pissarro exhibited He developed novel brush techniques and color schemes This was for spontaneity in his observations en plein air His new technique is done with large, separate brushstrokes They create shimmering light effects of the leaves on the trees This work is significant for being the earliest Salon-size painting It was done to impart the immediacy of the artist’s vision.
THE VERSAILLES ROAD AT LOUVECIENNES (SNOW)- Camille Pissarro , 1869 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 15 1/8 x 18 1/8 in. (38.4 x 46.4 cm) The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD: The George A. Lucas Collection Pissarro left Pontoise for Louveciennes in 1869 It was a small town west of Paris on the Seine River In December 1869, Monet went to Louveciennes to paint with him A heavy snowstorm inspired the two artists They produced a series depicting the winter landscape This was Pissarro’s first foray into Impressionism Quick brushworks record changes in weather and atmosphere Its small scale and immediacy marked a new phase in his career This painting was purchased just weeks after its completion Pere Martin was one of Pissarro’s first dealers He sold it in Jan. 1870 for 20 francs It was purchased by George Lucas, an American collector/dealer When Lucas died in 1909, he had a collection of 20,000 works
THE ROAD TO VERSAILLES AT LOUVECIENNES- Camille Pissarro , 1870 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist Landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 12 7/8 x 16 3/16 in. (32.8 x 41.1 cm). The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA, 1955.828 Pissarro depicts the fleeting atmospheric and light effects This is a well-structured world based on strict rules of perspective The soft, subtle palette is typical of his work of this period The varied and energetic brushwork is also characteristic
THE FARM ON THE EDGE OF THE FOREST- Camille Pissarro , 1871 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 18 1/8 x 21 7/8 in. (46.5 x 55.8 cm). Noortman Master Paintings This is a view of a farm in early autumn Pissarro used shadow in the entire foreground He was criticized by art critics for doing this The figure on the path leaves the shadow for the bright area This contributes an element of anticipation, immediacy and interest She is about to break the threshold into the light.
THE JALLAIS HILLS-Camille Pissarro, Pontoise, 1867 Oil on canvas. 341/4 x 45 1/4” (88 x 116 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, new York Bequest of William Church Osborn, 1951 (PV55) 1868-the Salon jury felt more relaxed in its modes of selection Pissarro had two paintings accepted to the Salon These works bring Pissarro’s breakthrough to a culmination Two of the L’Hermitage paintings were exhibited in that Salon Zola was extremely enthusiastic He was struck by the realistic and honest interpretation of nature In comments that could refer to this painting, Zola wrote: “ The artist concerns himself with the truth only, with consciousness; he places himself before a wall of nature, he devotes himself to the work of interpreting the horizons in their severe breadth, without seeking to put there the least delight of his invent. He is neither poet nor philosopher, but simply a naturalist, maker of skies and land.” Pissarro sought the complex interaction of Subjectivity versus objectivity Sensation versus construction, or of Self versus nature The latter is a basic equation at the very core of modern art
LANDSCAPE AT ENNERY NEAR PONTOISE- Camille Pissarro , 1868 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 15 X 185/16 IN. (38 X 46.5 CM). Kunsthalle Bremen He did this small work and large-scale views at the same time The latter were of the hills that surrounded L’Hermitage Here he used large, thick brushstrokes, generously applied He used the palette knife frequently in his Jalais Hill series Pissarro had financial hardship during this period He struggled to sell his work and care for his family Clearly, He felt a close relationship to working class people They also labored hard for success
BANKS OF THE OISE- Camille Pissarro , 1867 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Pencil. Private Collection. The drawing is from the same location as his painting It shows his precise draftsmanship The view is of bold geometry and simplification In the drawing, the river recedes diagonally It provides a clear, linear, perspectival structure In the painting, the river disappears It is lost in the diagonal and horizontal bands of vibrant color The buildings are clearly delineated in the drawing In the painting, they become abstract bands of color
BANKS OF THE OISE AT PONTOISE- BANKS OF THE OISE- Camille Pissarro , 1867 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 18 x 281/8 in. (45.7 x 71.5 cm). Denver Art Museum Collection. Gift of the Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation in honor of Annalee G. Newman, 2001.310. 1850s-The countryside around Paris underwent a transformation The railway made leisure travel more accessible for all Pissarro’s love of structure and geometry can be clearly seen This is a carefully considered composition It displays bold geometry and great simplification Humans attract the viewer’s in this semi-abstract landscape French artists began to depict factories in their paintings These were symbols of the growing presence of industry in society Pissarro did industrial motifs several years earlier than others
CHESTNUT TREES AT OSNY- Camille Pissarro , 1873 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 25 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. (65 x 81 cm). Collection of Jacqueline J. McMullen April 15, 1874-an important art show opened in Paris The societe Anonyme des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs 30 artists took part in the show It had been in the planning for more than a year. There was no jury The artists chose which of their works to display Pissarro showed 5 paintings: CHESTNUT TREEST AT OSNY, 1873 ORCHARD IN BLOOM, 1872 THE MUNICIPAL GARDEN, PONTOISE, 1873 MORNING IN JUNE, SUMMER, 1873 HOARFROST AT ENNERY, 1873 This one was mentioned in only one review The article noted that Pissarro’s style was not yet fully defined He had used this compositional device before Trees on either side frame the landscape within This technique was frequently used by 17/18 th c. Artists The trees allow only a glimpse into an undefined location The composition is divided into three horizontal bands His compositional construction controls the viewer’s eye The use of light/shadow assists in this process The loose and free style is typical of his e. 1870s work It combines historic and modern elements seamlessly This may be why he chose it for the first Impressionist exhibition
ORCHARD IN BLOOM- Camille Pissarro , 1872 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 17 3/4 x 21 5/8 in. (45.1 x 54.9 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Alisa Mellon Bruce Collection, 1970.17.51 C ritics declared Pissarro a simple painter of cabbages This work is an example of revising his Salon paintings Multiple layers of brushstrokes create Feathery leaves and flowers They convey an impression of substance and verdure They disguise the temporality of spring blooms ( BIBLICAL CITATION: Ecclesiastes 2:5) The healthy tree is the most solid, durable element in this landscape It poses a stark contrast to the still bare branches of other trees They also present a contrast to the rough, dry soil The tree branch above the man duplicates his arching back Notice the left branch of the blooming tree and the tree at right They both follow the outlines of the female figures bent pose This work may have been in homage to Francois Millet.
THE MUNICIPAL GARDEN- Camille Pissarro , Pontoise, 1873 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 in. (60 x 73 cm) Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. And Mrs. Arthur Murray, 1964 (64.156) Oil on canvas. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg Pissarro mainly focused on rural scenes This painting, of urban leisure with figures, was a new theme It is also innovative compositionally It constructs pictorial depth without resorting to linear perspective
THE MUNICIPAL GARDEN, PONTOISE, 1874 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 in. (60 x 73 cm) Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. And Mrs. Arthur Murray, 1964 (64.156) Japanese woodblock print compositions influenced him He organizes space through increasingly smaller figures They also display lack of detail They induce the viewer to follow them into the space The left painting may be a pendant to the one on the right That painting was shown in 1874 at the first Impressionist exhibition Both works display a recreational theme and numerous figures They also are predominantly pink in hue Without linear perspective, the left one is more daring It records the most public place in Pontoise, the city gardens
MORNING IN JUNE- Camille Pissarro , Saint-Ouen L’Aumone, 1873 (PD-RS 312) Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe Presents the wide vista of a working field It is similar in size and feel to a work SUMMER, done in 1872 That one was from the four seasons cycle It was the largest of the five works that he entered in the exhibition
HOARFROST AT ENNERY- Camille Pissarro , 1873 Rothkopf, K. (2007). Pissarro: Creating The Impressionist landscape. Baltimore: Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. Oil on canvas. Musee d’Orsay, Paris). 25 5/8 x 36 5/8 in. (65 x 93 cm) This is the most experimental of the 5 compositions It was the most controversial and produced significant reaction In one review, the critic commented that the painting had: “ neither head nor tail, top nor bottom, front nor back” This addressed the unconventional construction of the landscape This is a view of the old road running between Pontoise and Ennery The latter was a farming village near Pissarro’s home This old road was obsolete by the time he chose this site A new and more modern version had already been built Pissarro painted this work after the harvest The fields were plowed for the following season Haystacks dot the landscape Furrows of the field commingle with colored and textured shadows They were cast by an equally spaced line of trees These were probably poplars, located outside the picture plane A critic noted that Pissarro: “ commits the grave error of painting fields with shadows cast by trees placed outside the frame. As a result the viewer is left to suppose they exist, as he cannot see them” P. concentrates on the relationship between the solitary figure and the land that surrounds him The figure is even enveloped in a blue shadow That shadow marks the ground behind him The thin layer of morning frost will quickly melt on this sunny day This transitory quality of weather conditions is overridden The timeless mood and the rural subject are powerful The viewer is transported to another time and place It is a magical moment In his review of the 1874 exhibition, a critic wrote an invented conversation between himself and another visitor: “ The good man thought that the lenses of his spectacles were dirty. He wiped them carefully and replaced them on his nose…..’what on earth is that?’ A hoarfrost on deeply ploughed furrows…..Those furrows? That frost? But they are palette-scrapings placed uniformly on a dirty canvas. It has neither head nor tail, top nor bottom, front nor back. This is one of the most experimental works of P’s early career He freely explored technique, texture, color, and pattern This is a poetic elegy to beauty and poignancy
The Art of Part One MYRNA TECK, PH.D. INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR