Friday, August 16, 2013

Camille Pissarro - Artist and Father Figure


In 1855, a young artist who would influence Impressionism and Post-Impressionism moved to France from Venezuela. Pissarro, part French (his father) and Creole (his mother), was born in 1830 on the island of St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands.


Camille Pissarro
1830-1903


Camille Pissarro and wife, Julie, 1877, PD*WC,

Camille Pissarro was a father role model to many of his fellow Impressionist painters, especially the younger artists. He wanted to 'paint without artifice and grandeur', to show real people in everyday settings. A few of the artists he influenced were: Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gaugin, and Vincent van Gogh. Pierre-Auguste Renoir called him 'revolutionary' for portraying the common man.

The Paris Salon, the historical arbiter of tasteful art, disliked the new style movement and refused some of the Impressionist painters in 1863. Pissarro had previously shown his work in the Salon, but now formed part of the Salon des Refuses (exhibition of rejects).

Impressionists preferred painting outdoors and highlighting the beauty in nature. This style of painting studied the effects of varying light levels, different seasons, and time of day on various subjects. The paintings were often completed in one sitting, with subsequent variations following. Pissarro's painting, Landscape at Pontoise, is shown below.




Landscape at Pontoise, 1874, Camille Pissarro *PD-WC


In 1859, Pissarro met Claude Monet, Armand Guillaumin and Paul Cezanne. All of these younger artists were also painting in the new realistic style. The commonality between these artists was their dissatisfaction with the Paris Salon. An art movement was gathering speed.

In 1871, Pissarro married his mother's maid, a vineyard grower's daughter, who became mother to their seven children. They lived in Pontoise and Louveciennes, both of which furnished him with ideas for his paintings.


Pissarro and fifteen aspiring artists established a collective society of painters in 1873. Called the Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs, it existed because Pissarro kept the group together. His gentle guidance and his encouragement of his fellow artists drew new artists to the group.


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The Depths of Glory, by Irving Stone.

A fictional biography of Camille Pissarro, artist and father to the Impressionist movement. The Depths of Glory explores the artist's relationship with other great painters of the time. It's a great 'background' novel for learning about the art collective that Pissarro fostered. This title is one of three great books on artists by Irving Stone.


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Did you know about the artist, Camille Pissarro? Do you like paintings or prefer a certain style? Have you heard of the book, Depths of Glory?

Please share in the comments. Let me know if you've seen Pissarro paintings or other Impressionist work in art galleries in your area. Thanks for visiting!

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For more on the Artist
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Pissarro - Camille Pissarro, wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_des_Refus%C3%A9s - Salon des Refuses

Image Credits
*PD = Public domain, WC= Wikipedia Commons

Photograph of Camille Pissarro and Wife

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years

Painting, oil on canvas

The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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25 comments:

  1. I love Pissarro's paintings and the impressionist art of that time too. I saw an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum in 1999 that was quite memorable (esp for the crowds that packed each gallery!). My personal fave art is definitely American though - Hudson River School, Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Rockwell, etc., although I do love Rene Magritte's surrealistic paintings too.

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    1. Seattle brings in great exhibits. When I was in Art school here, our class took a field trip to see one of their exhibitions.

      Magritte is an artist I like too! Norman Rockwell has always captured my interest, even though he was always called an 'illustratior'. His work encapsulates a time period.

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    2. OOPS - illustrator. . .that is.

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  2. Very interesting post! I had never heard of Pissaro. It's fascinating that he influenced so many famous artists.

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    1. Art history courses and my own reading made me aware of Pissarro. Monet is the artist most often associated with Impressionism, but it was Pissarro who kept them all going. . .

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  3. Ooh, I really like that painting. Something about the colors is very unique. They're soft yet sharp and vivid. The picture has depth. I can see why Pissaro influenced Monet and others. Thanks for this info, DG.

    Be well.
    xoRobyn

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    1. He's a favorite of mine, too. Glad you like his style. I loved his story in that book I mentioned. He struggled to provide for his family.

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  4. I love Camille Pissarro, probably more so than Monet. Thanks for spotlighting his work and the book today. Sounds like the perfect read for a vacation in the south of France....hmmm....as if I needed an excuse! ;)

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    1. It's my pleasure to spotlight great artists, especially when they struggle so much and never reap the benefits of their success. Thanks for visiting, Johanna.

      Any excuse for going to France - I can agree with that!

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  5. The Impressionist paintings are my favorites, love them. I also love old photographs and this photo of Pisarro and his wife is so wonderful to see.

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    1. I agree, Julie, that photograph of Pissarro and his wife appealed to me because of the closeness they exude. Her sweet smile and his relaxed pose. I even noticed the bench they sat on, the style I saw in Old Paris when I visited.

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  6. I do like the works of the Impressionist movement in visual art and music. Pissaro was a master at what he did. It's interesting how the style would have developed. I once heard a theory that the style came about as a result of bad eyesight and blurred vision that caused a painter to reproduce things as he saw them. Don't know about that, but sometimes the paintings can have that effect.

    Lee
    A Faraway View

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    1. I tend to think 'bad eyesight' isn't true, Lee. Sounds like a comment from one who didn't like Impressionism. Pissarro did originally show his work in the Paris Salon. It met the aesthetic rules there.

      Impressionism is more a refracting of the colors in the light spectrum, than a blurring of the objects. These artists saw natural light as something missing from studio settings.

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  7. no i had not heard of this painter nor the book--but you remind me of my love for art history--need to get back into it :)

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    1. Art history is one of my interests, too, Lynn. Check out that book by Irving Stone.

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  8. Impressionists are my favorite, but I haven't heard of him. I feel really bad for his wife to have to wear that big, long dress.

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    1. That would have been Victorian style dress.(much too fussy for me, too). Now you have heard of Pisarro, search for images of his paintings. I'm currently reading that Monet novel, too.

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  9. I don't know that I've ever heard of Pissarro -- but I'm a BIG fan of Monet's impressionism.

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    1. I'm reading Claude and Camille right now, Milo, and it's so enthralling. I don't say that about many books. Monet is a favorite of mine as well, but the Impressionists were a close knit group, and Pissarro kept them going.

      Congrats on your latest news, Milo!

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  10. I'm embarrassed to admit that when I first read the name Pissarro in your post, I thought he was a composer. So, um, no, I wasn't aware of his work. I do really like some painters of the period though, like Renoir, Monet, Seurat and Henri Rousseau.
    Thanks for the educational and artistic post! :-)

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    1. Many aren't aware of Pissarro, which is why I featured him, he was a link with the old way of painting, which he could do, but he preferred the new way - Impressionism. I'm glad you have learned of him now, Lexa.

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  11. If ever there was a single artistic movement I'm glad survived, it's Impressionism. So beautiful.

    Yep, Pissarro's painting was stunning.

    :-)

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    1. Me, too, Misha. There's something of the artist's passion in these paintings. Impressionism took the staid and made it alive.

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  12. I feel cheated! I took 3 years of French in high school and my teacher introduced us to Impressionism. It is my favorite style of painting. And I never heard of Pissarro! Wow.

    Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Many don't know of Pissarro, but he was one of the first to recognize the attraction of painting 'en plein air'.

      Now you're more informed than your teachers.

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