By Darla McCammon
Camille Pissarro was born in 1830 on the island of St. Thomas when it was still considered the Danish West Indies.
Pissarro is still revered today for his major contributions to art. These disciplines included impressionism, post impressionism and neo-impression (as if we don’t already have enough categories to cause the best Jeopardy player to stumble from a bad case of nerves!) Pissarro, however; prevented many such tumbles with his mentoring. He was one of the oldest artists within the impressionist’s “club.” He was known to be an excellent, grandfatherly, generous artist. He received accolades from Paul Cézanne, who was quick to point out, “Pissarro was a father for me. He was a man to consult and a little like The Good Lord.” Many others, including Gauguin, Renoir and Seurat all applauded his kindness. He seemed to be universally loved and held in high esteem.
Pissarro arrived in Paris to study in 1855, the same year as the amazing and popular World’s Fair and its world-famous art exhibits. Pissarro gained the honor of being the only artist among the impressionists to exhibit in all eight of their Paris exhibits from 1874 to 1886 shows. His painting titled Peasant Woman was subtly different and distinctive. It held much of the traditional mood, yet it did not depart from that which called it “impressionism.” Although it followed the typical impressionistic vein, it still held a deep compassion for the peasant lady that is almost palpable.
Avoiding seascapes and river scenes for reasons known only to himself, Pissarro differed greatly from his fellow impressionistic artists. He preferred painting the land and those that worked the land. He also enjoyed creating cityscapes, often renting a room high above the noisy chaos in the streets and avenues below him where he could then work out a masterpiece from his high window view. By 1872, he was mixing colors directly on top of each other on his canvas. He chose a color palette much different from some of the contemporary darker, moody results of other artists. Also, that same year he worked again with Cézanne, introducing him to the joy of plein-air painting. Then in 1873 Pissarro helped form a group that included fifteen aspiring artists. He was the cement that held this group together. Another artist we have studied, Mary Cassatt knew Pissarro well enough to speak this about him: “He was so much of a born teacher that he could have taught the very stones to draw correctly!” Pissarro remained in good health for most of his life. He died in November of 1903 when he was 73 years old. “The Peasant Woman” was painted in 1880, “The Orchard in Bloom Louvenciennes” was finished in 1872 and a cityscape you will like, called “Boulevard Des Italiens, Morning, Sunlight” was completed in 1897, just six years before he passed away.
EVENTS: In Warsaw City Hall, Daniel Trump Photography is being featured through October. Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Brenda Stichter, art at Lakeland Art Gallery 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. 302 E. Winona Ave. Warsaw, phone (574)-267-5568. Time to think about Fall Member Show at Lakeland. Obtain a prospectus at [email protected] Want to be an exhibitor at Warsaw City Hall Art Gallery? Very good exposure for your work and good publicity about you. Send an email to [email protected] Subject: Art exhibit. To find out more about the many activities and lessons to be had at Lakeland Art Gallery, please visit their website or call the above phone number.