Camille Pissarro Facts

Camille Pissarro was a French artist. He had a good hold on Impressionist as well as Post-Impressionist painting. His contribution lies in both Impressionism as well as Post-Impressionism. At the age of 54, he adopted the Neo-Impressionist style. He also studied from Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot who were the great forerunner. However, with Corot, he has some disagreement regarding the painting style.

Self Portrait by Camille Pissarro
Self Portrait by Camille Pissarro

Who was  Camille Pissarro?

He was born on St. Thomas island on 10th July 1830. He shifted to Paris when he was very young and he started experimenting with the art. Gradually, along with his friends, Edgar Degas and Claude Monet, he shaped the Impressionist movement. Till his death in November 1903, he was an active part of Post-Impressionist circles.

He also formed a collective society of aspiring artist and these were 15 in number in the year 1873. Pissarro was the main person in holding this group and encourage all the members of the group.

He also got the title of dean of the Impressionist painters by John Rewald, an art historian. Pissarro got the title because of his warmhearted, kind and balanced personality.

His work was often considered as the revolutionary as his common man was the focus of his artistic portrayals. Pissarro always preferred painting individuals without any artifice and natural setting is preferred.

Camille Pissarro was the only one who showcased his art in all the 8 Paris Impressionist exhibitions. It was displayed from 1874-1886.

Apart from the fatherly figure of the Impressionists, he was also fatherly to  Post-Impressionists, Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne,  and Paul Gauguin.

Camille Pissarro’s Marriage

In 1871, he married Julie Vellay who was a daughter of the vineyard grower. He has seven children. They live in Pontoise. Later, they lived in Louveciennes. Many paintings of Pissarro were inspired by these places that included the scenes of rivers, village life, people at work and so on.

Admiring Natural Outdoor Settings

When Camille Pissarro started expressing on the canvas without any adulteration. He painted the scenes of the countryside as he was interested in capturing the daily routine and reality of the village life. As per his interest, he found that the French countryside is the perfect place and is worth to be painted on the canvas.

He preferred to complete the paintings outdoors only not in the studio. It gave him a realistic feel. Because of this impression only, he often criticized as vulgar. He always painted whatever he saw like rutted bushes, trees in different development stage and mounds of the Earth.

His painting has so much details that it can be equivalent to showing garbage in today’s art. This style of painting was the main reason for the disagreement between Corot and Pissaro. Corot completed his paintings in the studio.

Monet, Cézanne, and Guillaumin

In 1859, he attended the Académie Suisse, it was a free school. Here, he cam in contact with many young artists. Like Pissaro, these young artists also gave importance to the realistic style of painting. These were Claude Monet, Armand Guillaumin and Paul Cézanne. All of them were dissatisfied with the Salon.

All of these including Pissarro agreed on the significance of natural setting in the portraying the individuals and they highly dislike the artifice in their work.

Salon rejected the paintings of this group. Instead,  French Emperor Napoleon III placed their paintings at a different place. So, paintings were exhibited at the Salon des Refusés. However, the works of Cézanne and Pissarro were included.

Famous Paintings of Camille Pissarro

The Hermitage at Pontoise

The Hermitage at Pontoise
The Hermitage at Pontoise

It is another famous painting. This displays the village path at the Pontoise, a cluster of houses. The artist lived at this place and choose the rural environment. It is one of his masterpieces.

The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning

The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning
The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning

In Paris, he worked on the series of the boulevards. In early 1897, he surveyed the view from Grand Hôtel de Russie, he saw that he can view the entire length of boulevards and he can saw big trees, big houses, omnibuses and carriages.

The Boulevard Montmartre at Night

The Boulevard Montmartre at Night
The Boulevard Montmartre at Night

It is the night scene of Boulevard including the lights on the wet and dark street.

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