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Camille Pissarro was born in St. Thomas in Virgin Islands. A famous Fresh impressionist, Pissarro was taught and influenced by Barbizon and Corot School. ("Pissarro, Camille," 2012) It wasn't until later that Pissarro linked himself with the other impressionists and thus was portrayed in all the impressionist exhibitions. The era of the eight impressionists lasted from 1874 till 1886. From 1885 till 1890, Pissarro led a Neo-impressionist phase. Along with sharing and trying out different forms of art, Pissarro didn't back away from being an amazing teacher. He taught art to artists like Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gaugin.
The first school that Pissarro attended was at Passy near Paris during 1842 till 1847. It was his time during this school that Pissarro developed interest in drawing and going to museums. None of his parents had a link or interest in art as they were both merchants. It was in late 1840s that Pissarro came back to his home town to study with a Dutch marine artist, Fritz Melbye. A good teacher to him, Melbye traveled to Venezuela with Pissarro. It was there they both became very interested in painting nature and especially looking at the different angle of light. Even though not many paintings are available from the early works of the artists, but they are depictive of scenes from market, ports or nature. (Clement & Houze, 1999, p. 137)
The artist came back to Paris just at the same time as the l'Exposition Universele. Later, Pissarro took private classes where he was acquainted with artists like Armand Guillaumin, Cezanne and Monet. Until 1870, most of the Paintings made by Pissarro were approved at Salons every year most of the time. The Franco-Prussian War that took place from 1870-1871, Pissarro's house was damaged by the Prussian troops. This led to many of his work's being destroyed. It also led to him fleeing to London and later settling in Pontoise in 1872.
As mentioned earlier, he specifically took lessons from Corot. Nonetheless, his other teachers included Jean-Francois Millet, Courbet, Charles-Francois and Daubigny as well. Pissarro, however, found the teaching method by these teachers very organized and stifling. Corot told him to expand his reach and thus go beyond with what the salon wanted. (Rewald, 1989)
Since salon was an official institution, the tradition or culture at the time took control of what it would display. Back then in Paris, the Salon was the only place where amateur artists could spread the news about their work. People would come look at their work and appreciate it. Just to get his paintings into the exhibition, Pissarro went onto make them just like the committee wanted it to be. Even though during that time Pissarro made painting that made it to the exhibition, his other work was influenced by Corot. Both the artists were fond of nature and country side scenes from nature thus they both went on to work on that more closely. Thus it can be stated that Corot was one of the major inspirations for Pissarro to turn his attention to outdoor scenery painting. Along with Corot, his landscape love was also influenced by Chintreuil, Courbet, and Daubigny. (Clement & Houze, 1999, p. 138)
Even though Pissarro's own studio was in Paris, he chose to reside in areas way from the city. The rural areas that he lived in Pontoise, Louveciennes, La Roch-Guyon, Varrene-Saint-Maur, and Montmorency. Pissarro was introduced to Julie Vellay in 1860 and he got married to her in London in 1871. They both had eight children together. (Clement & Houze, 1999, p. 137) Pissarro was an artist who kept shifting. That is quite evident from the fact that after Pontoise, he went onto the village of Osny in 1882 and then in 1884, he went on to reside in Normandy. In Normandy, Pissarro purchased a huge house, which he transformed the barn into a studio where he worked. Subsequent to discovering Neo-impressionism, Pissarro went on to bring Seurat, Signac and his own son, Lucien into the finale exhibition in May, 1886. Pissarro wouldn't take any heed in presenting the new group as "Scientific Impressionists." (Clement & Houze, 1999, pg 138).
Even though he kept shifting styles, Pissarro's work has been appreciated throughout the decades. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has the most precious and noted pieces of his work. Along with painting, Pissarro was an acknowledged Draughtsman as well. The sketches that he made are equally acknowledged and appreciated. Also, he had many monotypes with Degar in the late 1870s and early 1880s.
The different styles of Pissarro are depictive of the teachers he was taught by at most. The first teacher he had was Fritz Melbye with whom he worked in drawing everything he could. Pissarro didn't have a set style and thus drew everything he could. Later on, when he moved to Paris, his style was most affected by what the Salon wanted and thus he went on to satisfy the academic traditions at the time. It was late in Paris, that he became more drawn to nature and nature portraits. Pissarro's love of nature was depictive in his early sketches as well where he would draw villages, ports and landscape scenery. The fact that Pissarro loved the nature is depicted in the fact that he left the city to go on and paint more rural paintings.
In the year 1866, when Pissarro had moved to Pontoise he started his work of 'plein air' landscapes. These paintings went on to be loved for their similarity to the real picture he was painting and also for their simplicity. Three years later, when he was in Louveciennes, he started working in a sole Impressionist style. (Clement & Houze, 1999, p. 138) The friends that Pissarro met in the academies, for example Monet helped him to improve his new style that he had taken on. As mentioned earlier, Pissarro's earlier work was lost due to the war and due to which he had to shift to Pontoise. The artist's work was one of the most accomplished and famous impressionist paintings in the 1870s. After moving cities, he went on to share his work other impressionists and also show it in the exhibition in 1874. Pissarro moved but he still kept in touch with Monet and started collaborating with artist like Degas and Cezanne. Later, he went on to share and learns from Gauguin after 1879.
It can be stated that the 1870s till mid 1880s, Pissarro had gotten a hang of and was very good at impressionist style. Following that, the artist met with Seurat in 1885 and became the pioneer convert to Neo-impressionism. Following his first exposure to Neo-impressionism, Pissarro came across novel inspiration and direction. He was intrigued by the phenomena of color and of science. Being more exposed to academic collaboration with art, he started becoming more and more interested in the symbolist writers and more amateur artists. Pissarro felt as if he had a common ground with the young and talented artists. He felt that he could share his feelings about being a rebel and challenging the already established styles of art. By the end of this decade, Pissarro went through yet another transition in his style of art. He went on to speak against Neo-impressionism and how it gave him a sense of stiff work as well. He felt as if it was a rigid form of art and thus later modified it more.
Near the end of his successful career, Pissarro converted to the pure impressionist style where he was more focused on motifs and paintings of buildings. Pissarro focused his pieces of art more on cityscapes of Rouen, Paris, Le Havre and Dieppe.Out of all his influences, Pissarro had a special effect on him because of Turner's work. It is also listed in the letters he wrote to his son that he frequently had Turner on his mind. (Herrmann,2009). Due to the war, when he was forced to shift places, he and Monet often visited museums together. The use of Turner's oil and water color really had a deep effect on Pissarro. In one of the letters that Pissarro had written, he especially highlighted that the water colors that Turners used seem remarkable. His work is extra ordinary even without the tactics and plots the other paints make use of. (Herrmann, 2009). There has been record use of oil paints in works such as Norwood Under the Snow, Lordship Lane Station Dulwich College and many others.
Pissarro's use of colors and strokes has long been admired. When he was just getting in touch with his impressionist side, the artist made use of a lighter brush stroke. The palette that he made use of consisted of much brighter colors. There was little mixing and he would rather dwell on going with patches of solid sole colors. What the artist basically targeted was to depict the feelings and sensations one feels in the beauty of nature. The advent of Pissarro's career was…[continue]
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