As part of deviantART's Art History Project, *Topicality and yours truly have prepared news articles regarding Impressionism, an art movement from the 19th Century whose main characteristic is the presence of tin yet visible brush strokes to create shapes that compose an image.
In this article we will review the life of Impressionism founder Camille Pissarro.
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Born in July 10 1830 in the Danish West Indies, he moved to Paris, France in order to pursue his artistic career. Regarded a key figure to the Impressionism movement, he was the only artist present in all 8 Paris Impressionist exhibitions held by the Society of Anonymous Painters, Sculptors and Printers. His colleagues viewed him as a father figure and someone to look up for advice and they called him "father Pissarro".
Much like Claude Monet, Pissarro showed interest in the arts at an early age. He went against his father's wishes to become a business man and after moving to Venezuela at the age of 21 and spending two years as an artist alongside Fritz Melbye, he returned to Paris and began working as an assistant to Melbye's brother.
In 1856, he attended private classes at cole des Beaux-Arts and joined the Académie Suisse where he met Monet, Cézanne and Guillaumin. Monet also introduced him to Renoir and Sisley, all related to Impressionism later on.
Just like Monet, Pissarro fled to London when the Franco-Prussian War broke. There, he spent his time painting landscapes. Upon returning to his home in Louveciennes, he found out much of the work he had left in his studio had been destroyed by the Prussian soldiers.
In 1874, he and his colleagues founded the Society of Anonymous Painters, Sculptors and Printers that hosted the first Impressionist exhibition in the very same year. The Society hosted 8 exhibitions and Pissarro was present in all of them. Despite the struggles they had and some of the founding members drifting apart, he remained loyal and was the link that kept it together. “I will calmly tread the path I have taken, and try to do my best", he wrote to his son Lucien in 1883.
Pissarro converted to Neo-Impressionism by the influence of two young artists: George Seurat and Paul Signac. Nonetheless, his interest for the movement didn't last long and he moved away from it in 1889.
During his last years of life, he started gaining recognition and some financial stability, as the paintings he created in that period were viewed as the finest of his career. He passed away in Paris on November 13 1903.
Some of Pissarro's work:
Landschaft bei Pontoise
Pont Boieldieu in Rouen, Rainy Weather
Morning, Winter Sunshine, Frost, the Pont-Neuf, the Seine, the Louvre, Soleil D'hiver