Posts Tagged '1873'

PISSARRO’S PLACES — BOLD EXPERIMENT!!

pont factories

How will this painting* look in PISSARRO’S PLACES?

We’re not sure…..Here’s why….

Camille Pissarro constantly pushed the limits of painting and embraced most things modern (except the Eiffel Tower).  So I think he would approve of this.

PISSARRO’S PLACES will be the first book with fine art reproductions to be produced by the digital “PRINT ON DEMAND” production technique. (Based on checks with industry executives) It includes:

35 reproductions of Pissarro paintings

46 current photographs of the places he painted

29 historic postcards

Several family photographs and a few historic photos of Paris

Traditional publishers would not take on this 150-page book because it might not be profitable in today’s business environment. Self-publishing is the solution—for many authors in all categories.

My publisher is Art Book Annex—that’s right, my blog is publishing my book in print! Thankfully, my public relations background left me with decades of experience working with editors, designers and printers. PISSARRO’S PLACES has been professionally edited and professionally designed.

The printing will be done by Lightning Source, a company of Ingram Content Group, the world’s largest and most trusted distributor of physical and digital content.  They provide books, music and media content to over 38,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners in 195 countries and work with more than 25,000 publishers.

Lightning Source provides digital print production, also called “Print on Demand,” which means that using the computer files I supply to them, they can print any number of copies as they are needed—even just one copy.

The risk lies in the quality of the reproductions. This new technique is nothing like the complicated printing used for exhibition catalogues, and the paper will not be heavy and shiny. But I’ve examined their sample books with photography and illustrations, and I’ve consulted with design and printing experts.  We believe it will work.

Stay tuned, and hear the results when I get the first proof!!

*This beautiful painting is Factory on the Banks of the Oise, Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône, painted by Pissarro in 1873. It can be seen at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, PA.  The catalogue raisonne number is PDR 300. It will be in the chapter on Pontoise in PISSARRO’S PLACES.

 

Pontoise in the Snow as Pissarro Saw It

Rue de Gisors

Rue de Gisors, Effect of Snow, Pontoise, 1873

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA  PDR* 284

The overnight snowfall was still evident as Pissarro set up his easel on the side of the road. Just to the right of the two-wheeled cart, we can easily see the corner of the street where Pissarro lived.

The people of the village are busy with their daily errands as a woman sweeps snow off the sidewalk. Pissarro gives us an accurate sense of the gentle downward slope of the road with the decreasing levels of the rooftops. Even though the dominant colors of the painting are warm pinks and mauves, the cold crispness of the air suggested by the white snow on the roofs is intense.

This scene has hardly changed at all since Pissarro painted it. The pink building now has three stories, but the smaller buildings on that side are still the same and the tall angled roof is still there although it does not seem nearly as high as he portrayed it.

Rue de Gisors today

 This painting is one of 30 featured in the upcoming book,

 PISSARRO’S PLACES.

*PDR refers to the number assigned to this painting in Pissarro:Critical Catalogue by Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Shollaerts (2005).

 

 

 

 

 

 

PISSARRO AND ROTHKO — COLOR FIELDS IN DIALOGUE

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Misty Morning at Creil, 1873 Camille Pissarro

Pissarro used realistic elements to create scenes that now appear almost abstract, as demonstrated by the comparison of Misty Morning at Creil, 1873, with Rothko’s Untitled, 1969. Certainly color field paintings were unimaginable in the vocabulary of the Impressionists, but from the current post-abstract perspective, the similarities in the two paintings are apparent.

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Untitled, 1969  Mark Rothko

The simple reading of the Pissarro painting is that of a common landscape, depicting a condition of weather.  All of the Impressionists were interested in portraying various types of weather on the canvas, and many of them painted fog or mist in scenes similar to Pissarro’s.  However, most of these artists provided some kind of recognizable focal point to draw the eye.

In Misty Morning, the eye searches for an important focal point, and settles instead on the complementary contrast of the sky and land, two distinct color fields. The dusty blue sky with orange-shaded undertones is surprisingly similar to the top of the Rothko, which is also a dusty blue with shades of orange peeking through the brushstrokes.

The lower half of the Pissarro is not a solid color field like that of the Rothko, but the overall impression is similar.  In the foreground, Pissarro uses the orange-shaded color to depict the muddy ground. Near the crest of the hill, a silvery white frost covers the ground creating an effect similar to that in the lower half of the Rothko.

The elements that add realism and set the Pissarro apart from the Rothko are the images on the horizon. Just right of center is a dark blotch that represents several trees along with shadowy figures. In the center left is another shadowy tree image. While a landscape by another artist might use these figures as a focal point, Pissarro makes them dissolve into the background. The trees are dark blue and the covering mist erases any detail of structure that might grab the eye’s attention. Instead, the trees serve as a simple division between the contrasting colors of the sky and ground.

The use of human figures tends to draw the eye, but here Pissarro has minimized their importance. The color of the woman’s upper garment blends with the trees while her skirt is the same color as the ground. The man is practically invisible, with a cap the color of the trees and clothing that fades into the background.  There may or may not be another shadowy figure farther up the hill.

The obvious effort that Pissarro made to blend the people and trees into the background suggests that they are not to be considered focal points. The obvious point of interest is the complementary contrast between the sky and ground, two color fields only slightly more complicated than those depicted in the Rothko painting.

One might say that Pissarro just painted the scene as he saw it, and that he did not “intentionally” paint something that today can be compared to Rothko’s color fields. While Pissarro would not have used the same vocabulary, he certainly was striving for different effects throughout his career. To accept the obvious in his paintings is to miss the point of his work. It is only on close scrutiny that his genius is recognized.



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