Camille Pissarro's Famous Artworks
“Two Women Chatting by the Sea,” 1856
“The Hermitage at Pointoise,” 1867
“The Cote des Boeufs at L’Hermitage,” 1877
“White Frost,” 1873
“The Harvest of Hay in Eragny,” 1887
“Young Peasant at her Toilette,” 1888
“Peasant Women Planting Stakes,” 1891
“Pont Boieldieu in Rouen, Rainy Weather,” 1897
“Boulevard Montmartre Morning, Grey Weather,” 1897
“Boulevard Montmartre Spring Rain,” 1897
“Place du Theatre Francais,” 1898
“Avenue de l’Opera, Place du Theatre Francais, Misty,” 1898
“The Port of Le Havre,” 1903
Camille Pissarro was a French landscape artist who was a major influence in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist schools of painting. A painter of diverse talents, he worked in oil painting, gouache, pastel, drawing, etching, and lithography. Camille Pissarro's paintings
received high praise from the viewers.
Camille Pissarro's Early Life
Pissarro was born on the island of Saint Thomas (then part of the Danish West Indies) on July 10, 1830. His mother was a native of the island who met his father, a French national of Portuguese Jewish descent when he traveled there to take care of his uncle’s business. The Jewish community of the island was against the marriage and all four of the couple’s children were sent to an all-black primary school instead of the Jewish school. When he was 12 years old, Pissarro was sent to the Savary Academy, a boarding school in Passy near Paris, where he was introduced to the French masters and began studying painting and drawing under Monsieur Savary, who encouraged him to draw from nature.
Camille Pissarro's Career
Following his father’s wishes, Pissarro began working in business after returning to Saint Thomas. However, he continued to draw and paint in his spare time. When he was 21, he met the Danish artist Fritz Melbye, who encouraged him to focus on building a career as an artist. Pissarro spent two years working with Melbye in Venezuela, drawing landscapes, village scenes, and making numerous sketches.
Pissarro returned to Paris in 1855 to work as an assistant to Fritz’s brother, Anton Melbye. At the same time, he studied under Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Gustave Courbet at the École des Beaux-Arts and Académie Suisse. In his early years, Pissarro painted in the traditional style and submitted his work to the Paris Salon where his work was first displayed in 1859. However, he was inspired by his engagement with Corot to paint en plein air (in the open air), painting scenes of the French countryside.
Camille Pissarro's Relationships
Pissarro also developed friendships with Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne and together, the young artists sought out a style of painting that allowed them to move away from traditional painting to depict the truth of what they saw on canvas. The work of this group was at odds with the demands of the Paris Salon and some of it was displayed in 1863 at the Salon de Refusés, a separate exhibition of work rejected by the Salon.
Pissarro married Julie Vellay in 1871. The couple lived outside of Paris — where Pissarro continued to paint outdoors rather than in a studio — with their family of seven children. The family moved to England when the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 broke out. Pissarro met the French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who became his dealer and also introduced him to Claude Monet, who was also in England at the time. Back in France, Pissarro discovered that a large number of his existing paintings had been destroyed. He reconnected with his old friends Cezanne, Matisse, Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and together they planned an independent exhibition of their work — the Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. Eight Impressionist shows were held in total, and he was the only one to feature in all of them. Pissarro's paintings
are a part of many art collections.
Camille Pissarro's Later Life
Pissarro’ quest for innovation in his painting style continued in his later life as well. He influenced the evolution of the Post-Impressionist style. Cezanne, who faced criticism for much of his early work, was ever grateful for Pissarro's support during this time, describing himself as a disciple of the latter and even saying, “we all stem from Pissarro.” Pissarro also formed friendships with Paul Signac and Georges Seurat and experimented with Neo-Impressionism and Pointillism, the technique developed by them in the 1880s. However, he felt that the technique prevented him from depicting his observations of the seen world accurately and eventually returned to the Impressionist style. Pissarro's paintings are still exhibited by several art galleries.
Pissarro was unable to paint outdoors towards the end of his life due to a recurring eye infection. He instead painted looking out of the windows of hotel rooms, especially rooms at higher levels. He had entirely lost his vision by the time he died. He passed away on November 13, 1903, in Paris and was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Art lovers can buy Camille Pissarro's paintings online
Camille Pissarro's Major Exhibitions
1863 - Salon des Refusés, Paris
2017 - Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Camille Pissarro's Museums/Collections
Art Institute of Chicago
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, England
San Francisco Museum of Fine Art
Guggenheim Museum, New York
The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
The Louvre Museum, Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Tate Gallery, London
Musee d’Orsay, Paris
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena
Musee Camille Pissarro, Pontoise
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Neue Pinakothek, Munich
“Camille Pissarro” by Joachim Pissarro
“Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien” by John Rewald and Lucien Pissarro
“Camille Pissarro” by JC Holl
“Camille Pissarro” by Georges Lecomte
“Studies on Camille Pissarro” by C.H. Lloyd