Posts Tagged 'Camille Pissarro'

PISSARRO’S HAYSTACKS

Haystacks, Morning, Éragny 1899 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York   PDR 1282

Haystacks, Morning, Éragny
1899
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York PDR 1282

Camille Pissarro is not known for his haystacks, but perhaps he should be. According to the catalogue raisonne, he painted haystacks when he was only 26 years old—the year after he returned to France to pursue a career as an artist.

In the winter of 1898-99, Pissarro was financially comfortable enough to move his family to Paris for the winter. They stayed in an apartment on Rue Rivoli, no doubt a lot warmer than the old farmhouse at Éragny, and he painted splendid views of the Tuileries gardens and the Louvre.

In June, he and his family returned to their home at Éragny and he painted the “little nooks” he found around him.  He wrote his son Ludovic-Rodolphe, “It’s very beautiful here—you can make a masterpiece out of next to nothing,” and he did.

The deep green trees of midsummer dominate the space, but our eyes go to the three haystacks in the left foreground. As he usually does, Pissarro tells us the place and time of day. It’s morning, fairly early since the shadows are still long. You almost feel the heat of the sun baking the left side of the haystack turning the gold into myriad yellows, pinks, corals. On the other side, the purple shadow mutes those same colors. 

This is one of six haystack paintings he made that summer. In no way did Pissarro intend them to compete with Monet’s haystacks. Each of them is different in composition; some include a peasant woman, who sometimes naps at the base of the haystack.  He did do another one similar to this one, in the late afternoon. It would be fantastic to see these two side by side.

This wonderful painting is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  If you can’t go see it in person, look at it on the Met’s website, which allows you to zoom in close and see every brushstroke.

http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/438738#fullscreen

The Camille Pissarro Catalogue Raisonne by Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts was published in 2005.

PISSARRO’S PLACES IN NEW YORK

Many thanks to the kind folks who came to the Dobbs Ferry and Harrison libraries a couple weeks ago

to hear my talk on PISSARRO’S PLACES.

It was delightful to talk with you afterward and sign your copies of PISSARRO’S PLACES.

*   *   *   *   *

PISSARRO’S PLACES

is available on the website:

www.pissarrosplaces.com

or at Amazon.

There is a special discount for

friends who visit the website.

PISSARRO IN PARIS — ON THE COVER OF CHRISTIE’S IMPRESSIONIST CATALOGUE

Woman Pushing a Wheelbarrow, 1890 PDR875

Woman Pushing a Wheelbarrow, Éragny 1890
PDR875

Camille Pissarro is in the spotlight again — this time at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sale to be held 25 March. In fact, a detail of the painting is featured on their catalogue cover.  Early last month, Sotheby’s featured a glorious Pissarro painting of Boulevard Montmartre on the cover of their Impressionist sale catalogue.  The interest in Pissarro’s work is obviously increasing among collectors and auction houses.  His work is finally getting the attention it deserves.

This sun drenched painting of a scene in Éragny was made just after Pissarro turned away from pointilism, the dot technique that had consumed his energy for several years. The Christie’s catalogue describes the change in Pissarro’s technique this way:  “However, rather than using the ‘stifling’ dot, as in his neoimpressionist phase, he uses a much looser, crisscrossing technique, by which he interweaves his brushstrokes, having fractured and divided the marks of paint into a more complex, but also much freer, and livelier pictorial surface.”

On Christie’s website, you can look at this painting up close which allows you to see the tiny brushstrokes and multitude of colors he used to create the image. The subject could not be more “down to earth” than this—a woman pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with manure to the pile at the edge of the field in the bright sunlight. The hedge row draws a slight diagonal to the horizon line and the steep pitched roof and gigantic tree lift our eyes to the fluffy clouds.

Pissarro made another painting of the same place in Éragny, but the manure pile is replaced with clusters of wild flowers.  The same tree and roof appear, and a woman (looks like the same one) is walking with a goat in the opposite direction.  This wonderful painting “Woman and Goat at Eragny” (PDR 874) is at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Woman and Goat at Éragny, 1889 PDR 874

Woman and Goat at Éragny, 1889
PDR 874

PISSARRO’S PLACES IN NEW YORK

DOBBS FERRY AND HARRISON

YOU’RE INVITED

Please join me March 22 at 2 pm for a slide-lecture based on my book PISSARRO’S PLACES, Dobbs Ferry Public Library, 55 Main Street, 914-693-6614

 Or  March 23 at 2 pm for a slide-lecture based on my book PISSARRO’S PLACES, Harrison Public Library, 2 Bruce Avenue, 914-835-8324

PISSARRO’S PLACES is available on the book’s website: http://www.pissarrosplaces.com and on Amazon.

PISSARRO in London at Sotheby’s–”An Exceptional Masterwork”

Boulevard Montmaratre, Spring Morning, 1897 PDR 1171

Boulevard Montmartre, Spring Morning, 1897
PDR 1171

Pissarro’s elegant painting, Boulevard Montmartre, Spring Morning is “one of the most important Impressionist masterworks to come to auction in the last decade,” according to Sotheby’s in London where it will be auctioned in February. The picture’s breathtaking beauty is matched by its amazing history.

Carol Vogel told the story in her New York Times column Inside Art on December 19, 2013:  Max Silberberg, a Jewish industrialist and collector from Breslau, Germany, owned it until the Nazis forced the sale of his collection; he was killed in the Holocaust. It was sold at auction in Berlin in 1935, and had several owners until 1960, when the Manhattan gallery Knoedler & Company sold it to John and Frances L. Loeb, philanthropists from New York. They gave the painting to the Israel Museum after Mr. Loeb’s death in 1996.

But after Gerta Silberberg, the daughter-in-law of Max Silberberg, filed a claim, the museum returned the painting to her; she allowed the museum to display it on long-term loan. Earlier this year, Ms. Silberberg died and her estate is selling the painting.

Pissarro’s dealer Durand-Ruel encouraged him to paint the large boulevards of Paris.  From February to April 1897, he lived and painted in a room with a clear view of Boulevard Montmartre on the left and the Boulevard des Italiens on the right. He made fourteen paintings of Boulevard Montmartre, depicting almost every possible weather condition from pounding rain to bright sunshine. This painting depicts one of those rare spring days when the  sunlight falling on the street creates lacy shadows through the fringe of new leaves on the young trees.

Sotheby’s  http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/BID/2877520219x0x714973/6677a87c-a218-48ed-b435-e649f6d21233/714973.pdf

PISSARRO in Detroit……for now.

The Path, 1889 Camille Pissarro, PDR 871 Detroit Institute of Art

The Path, 1889
Camille Pissarro, PDR 871
Detroit Institute of Art

This beautiful pointillist painting by Pissarro at Detroit Institute of Art is one of those owned by the City of Detroit and may be caught in the middle of the city’s bankruptcy.

According to an article in the Washington Post (December 16, 2013) “Christie’s, which has been poring over the collection for months, said it will include recommendations for how Detroit might make money while maintaining ownership of some of its most valuable pieces — including Degas’ ”Dancers in the Green Room,” Pissarro’s “The Path” and Renoir’s “Graziella.” But the city may have to sell off works many consider integral to the cultural soul of the city in order to help repay creditors, including retired public workers whose pensions could take a huge hit.”  

It is ironic that Pissarro himself was in a terrible financial crunch during the time that he painted this picture. In May of 1889, he wrote, “Business (since it always comes down to that) is catastrophic.”  The following year, he became disenchanted with pointillism, and abandoned Neo-Impressionism.

This painting is not one of Pissarro’s more familiar paintings. It has been included in only four exhibitions, the most recent one in Japan in 1990. But it demonstrates his amazing technical ability which literally pours the rigidity of pointillism into sheer poetry.

Pissarro cleverly uses pointilism’s dot to convey the multicolored autumn trees. But it is the overall composition which grabs our attention. The entire right side of the canvas is virtually “in our face,” filling the foreground with the windowless side of a house and a massive tree whose branches fill the canvas top. While we cling to the green embankment, we see the path extending around a curve to more houses and hills in the distance. The variegated sky adds a sense of uncertainty.

Clearly, this is not a painting we absorb in one glance–there is much to examine and ponder. Let’s hope that the City of Detroit will have time to reconsider “The Path” and that it will be included in future exhibitions shown around the world.

Information on Pissarro’s life and this painting is from Pissarro:Critical Catalogue by Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts (2005).

The Camille Pissarro Rose

Camille Pissarro Rose

Camille Pissarro Rose

There is a rose named for Camille Pissarro.  It was bred by G. Delbard in France in 1996. It is a glorious flower with yellow, pink, and cream stripes.  The one in the picture was part of a small bouquet given to me a few years ago.

Info from: http://nixpixmix.blogspot.com/2012/04/camille-pissaro-rose.html

PISSARRO Exhibition Moves to Barcelona October 15!

The Hermitage Road at Pontoise, 1874 Musée d’Orsay, Paris   PDR349

The Hermitage Road at Pontoise, 1874
Musée d’Orsay, Paris PDR349

This charming landscape by Camille Pissarro was featured in the PISSARRO exhibition in Madrid.  Perhaps it will also be included at the CaixaForum in Barcelona when the PISSARRO exhibition opens there on October 15.

Some of Pissarro’s paintings look deceptively simple—and this is a perfect example! The top third of the canvas is filled with grayish clouds and the lower two-thirds are green fields. A horse and buggy provide a pleasant focal point just off center.

So how do you explain the intrinsic sense of movement, steady as a pulse, that drives the action in the painting. It is only paint on canvas, but you really believe that the buggy is moving forward at a brisk clip. You know that the man on the left will meet the two women walking towards him, and that the tiny buggy on the hillside road will soon disappear from sight.

Underlying these believable elements is a dramatic geometric form—a large lazy Z figure that appears on the horizon just left of center (look for the tiny buggy), makes a sharp angle around the three tall poplar trees, and almost disappears at the left foreground before it forms the bottom of the letter leading to the two women.  In a landscape that appears soft and curvy, this large Z is decidedly sharp and angular, dividing the fields into separate sections.

As if to heighten the excitement, Pissarro works each section in a different manner. Look closely at the space beneath the main road in the foreground. It is divided into four sections of grass, each of them different shades of green, and a small yellowish bridge.  The section between the bottom of the Z and the strong diagonal from left to right  includes six or seven different sections with small dark green trees at the top right edge of the canvas.  The section between the top of the Z and the diagonal is mostly a rosy beige with patches of green but is bordered on the left by darker green. A mysterious pale green band leads our eyes to the three tall poplars at the angle. The distant space above the second road going up the hill appears to be rocky fields defined by a narrow line of tiny green trees on the horizon. Even the sky seems to be doing its part, with the dark clouds scudding away quickly leaving lighter, brighter skies near the horizon.

All the movement is grounded by the prominent arch of the small bridge in the right lower corner of the canvas. It is reflected in the rocks just to the left highlighted by the small white arrow formed by the road’s surface. The stability of the view is also anchored by the presence of a herd of sheep with their shepherd far in the distance just above the woman’s white cap.

Pissarro’s paintings are often subtle. They don’t scream at you with clashing colors and jagged edges, but a careful look reveals many intricate features and very often surprises.

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PISSARRO’S PLACES,

the book about all the locations Pissarro painted,

 will be available in Barcelona at the CaixaForum bookstore.

www.pissarrosplaces.com

And the days grow shorter…for PISSARRO in Madrid

The Woods at Marly, 1871 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The Woods at Marly, 1871
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT…. to see the PISSARRO exhibition in Madrid before it closes on September 15.

With this gorgeous painting from Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza’s own collection, we express our gratitude to the museum and to Guillermo Solano, the museum’s artistic director, for creating this incredible exhibition of Pissarro’s paintings.  To be able to see these matchless paintings in this instructive context has enriched us and left us with a deeper understanding of the artist’s innovative genius.

The Good News is that on October 14, the PISSARRO exhibition will open in Barcelona at the CaixaForum, where it will remain until January 26, 2014.

The Woods at Marly gives us a hint of the autumn to come. The road through the trees is covered with golden leaves, yet some of the trees are still green.  Streaming through the branches, the sun makes a bright patch on the ground. The limbs of the trees meet overhead forming a succession of arches like the aisle of a Gothic cathedral. A lovely picture, indeed.

Our movement down the road is marked by people–at the left edge, a woman bends to her task. About midway to the clearing are two women, one of them carrying a bundle of wood. Beyond the green grassy area, there appears to be another woman standing near a pond. Our eyes are drawn to the shiny reflection of light on water, which is much too small to be a real focal point. If that image were in the center, this painting would be almost symmetrical.  But it’s not–it’s just to the left. And no matter how hard we try, we cannot look at the true center because our view is blocked by three dark tree trunks near the two women.

The tiny image itself is almost like a miniature painting on an old-fashioned brooch. It forces the rest of the canvas to serve as its frame. If we look closely at the little pond, we begin to see dark green brush strokes on each side that define a small diamond shape.  Beyond the pond are two trees with green branches reaching up to another diamond shape of dark green leaves, a bold contrast to the shiny diamond.

True, the diamond shapes are only approximate, but they are distinct. This shows how early Pissarro was concerned with geometric forms, again pushing ahead of his contemporaries by enclosing abstract shapes in figurative paintings. This breathtaking painting of the woods on a sunny autumn day is so much more than just a pretty picture. Perhaps Pissarro hides these tiny treasures in the dense woods, just wondering if we will find them.

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PISSARRO, the exhibition

CaixaForum, Barcelona

October 15, 2013 – January 26, 2014

PISSARRO’S PLACES, the book, is still available in the bookstore at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.  It will also be available in the bookstore of the CaixaForum in Barcelona when the PISSARRO exhibition opens.

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ARTBOOKANNEX.com….After a year and a half

PEOPLE WORLDWIDE love Pissarro and enjoy his paintings.

In these 549 days, there have been 4003 views from 78 countries on six continents–that’s an average of 7.3 views per day!  To all of you who love Pissarro, THANK YOU.

INTRODUCING THE NEW PISSARRO PAINTING AT PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART

pmacropApple Tree in the Meadow, Eragny
1893 — PDR 995

This stunning painting, a gift to the museum from John C. Haas and Chara C. Haas, is part of a new exhibition called First Look: Collecting for Philadelphia, a selection of 125 pieces from more than 8500 works of art donated to PMA over the last five years.

At first glance, it seems to be a simple painting.  There is the obvious focal point, an apple tree in full leaf with perhaps a few blossoms left, suggesting early summer.  The bright blue sky is cloudless, rather unusual since most of the Eragny paintings made that summer have puffy white clouds. The brilliant sunlight fades the green of the grass in the meadow. It must have been a calm day—the tree shows no sign of wind or breezes.  Pissarro set his easel in the meadow facing the tall white fence that separates the house, and front garden from the orchard. This painting was made the year after the Pissarro family purchased the house at Eragny.

But very little with Pissarro is ever simple, and neither is this picture. The brilliant sunlight creates purple shadows making patterns on the ground. We do not know what caused the shadows—a typical Pissarro mystery. The painting consists of horizontal bands with a perpendicular tree trunk, but wait!  The right edges of those shadows create a strong diagonal line, and there’s more. Follow the diagonal of the roof line down through the thickest part of the tree to the small object in the right foreground. Another diagonal hidden in the elements of the painting! It appears that Pissarro put that object there just to complete the diagonal and give strength to the composition.  But what is that object?

detail crop

A short post, perhaps. The wall behind it is about six feet tall, so it couldn’t be more than two or three feet high. A very close look (see the detail) reveals characteristics of a figure. (For a reality check, I asked a friend what she saw, and she immediately answered, “a woman.”) In fact, the figure, painted with very few brush strokes appears to be a woman in a blue dress with a red and white kerchief on her hair, holding a basket. If so, she is a very small scale compared to other elements in the painting. Of course, she could be a small garden statue, though I would not expect one to look like a maid. We know why Pissarro put the object in that place (to complete the diagonal line), but we do not know what! It is just another of the many puzzles that can be found in Pissarro’s paintings.

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 You can see it for yourself on the PMA website: http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/319041.html?mulR=5031|1.  In the lower right hand corner of the painting, click on the magnifying glass and you can study the details of the painting. Notice the tiny brushstrokes and the mixture of colors. When you zoom in on the object, press CTL and + at the same time to magnify it even more.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think it is!

Photos were taken by the author (with the museum guard’s permission and no flash) on my Iphone.

 

 

 

 

PISSARRO–Madrid’s Exhibition–An Extraordinary Experience

Essen snowfall

Chemin des Creux, Louveciennes, Snow, 1872, PDR 219

Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

This incredibly beautiful Pissarro landscape from Louveciennes was one of the major highlights of PISSARRO, the exhibition at Museum Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid. This reproduction, taken from the Museum Folkwang’s website does not do it justice. The weak winter sunlight provides little warmth on the gleaming white snow, with its shades of blue and pink. The deep shadows are delicate shadings of blues, grays, mauves. The old tree’s rotten center is filled with snow and your eye gets lost in the graceful tangle of small branches.

The entire exhibition, which began with Pissarro’s last self-portrait, was as carefully composed as one of his paintings–arranged chronologically, many times in pairs that enhanced the experience of each work. While the selection of 79 paintings included many well-known paintings, there were also some delightful surprises.

The museum’s own Route de Versailles was carefully paired with a similar painting from the High Museum in Atlanta. Two of Pissarro’s most beautiful paintings from London 1871 were together, the field near Sydenham Hill and Dulwich College. Two landscapes of l’Hermitage at Pontoise were similar locations but displayed strikingly different techniques. Another exceptionally wide painting of 1877 from Ottawa, Canada, displayed a composition that is sparse and modern-looking for its time.

A pair of very wide landscapes, two very different versions of the crooked apple tree in Pissarro’s orchard, similar views of the garden wall were among the paintings from Eragny.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the two paintings from Pitti Palace in Florence that I wrote about a few months ago. What a treat to see them again, this time close up and at eye level.

The city views featured two versions of Boulevard Montmartre paintings, the museum’s own Rue Saint-Honore paired with the same motif from Copenhagen. An exquisite selection of Rouen paintings featured the bridges, the Seine, the boats and the changeable weather.

Mind you, these galleries were not hushed and quiet, and people did not parade around the room in a slow shuffle like they usually do.  There was an excited buzz in the air as people looked first at one and then the other and then back again. Some visitors were going back into previous rooms to compare earlier and later works, or landscapes with cityscapes. Viewers were spending time in front of paintings, looking closely, walking up to see brushstrokes and back to embrace the unity.

Pissarro must be smiling.

PISSARRO’S PLACES is on sale in the bookstore of the PISSARRO exhibition in Madrid.  I had the honor of signing books for several people who bought them on the day I was there.  What a pleasure to meet each of them and share thoughts about Pissarro.

Readers of this blog can obtain a copy of PISSARRO’S PLACES at Amazon.com or the Barnes & Noble website.  A special price for friends of this blog is available at the book’s website:  http://www.pissarrosplaces.com.

PISSARRO IN NEW YORK AT THE FRICK

frick-2 Boulevard de Rochechouart, 1880

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Pissarro seems to be everywhere this year–in Madrid at Museo Thyssen Bornemiszo, in Le Havre as part of the Normandie Impressionist Festival, and in this one work which is part of an exhibition at the Frick. PISSARRO’S PLACES are everywhere!
This work is not featured in the book, PISSARRO’S PLACES.  Take this marvelous opportunity to see it in person. Photos are never as good!
The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec: Drawings and Prints from the Clark, March 12, 2013 to June 16, 2013
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A CLOSER LOOK
This beautiful pastel, Boulevard de Rochechouart, by Camille Pissarro deserves to be better known. This street is in the 9th arrondisement, an extension of the Boulevard de Clichy. He knew that area  well because his pied-a-terre in Paris was located in the 18th just a few blocks north. He was living there with Julie and his  family that winter.
What is interesting is that this work on paper was done relatively early in Pissarro’s career, in 1880. This is 13 years before Pissarro started his series of paintings in Paris.  Yet in this one, he seems to be looking down on the street as he did in 1893 at Place du Havre. It would seem to be a foreshadowing of his work to come.
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Here is an interesting perspective as noted in Art Daily of March 12 (See URL below for the whole story):

PISSARRO CHALLENGES NOTIONS OF FINISH Like Millet, Camille Pissarro spent much of his career depicting peasants and unembellished scenes of rural life, although the urban cityscape seized his imagination as well. His large pastel Boulevard de Rochechouart depicts a slice of Paris in the years following Baron Haussman’s renewal of the city. For the writers and artists of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the pulse and rhythm of the grands boulevards symbolized modernity, as eloquently expressed in Baudelaire’s famous essay of 1863 “Peintre de la Vie Moderne.” Through hatched, unblended strokes in a multitude of colors, Pissarro achieves a sense of transparency that captures the shifting sensations of a city in constant flux. His high viewpoint plunges the viewer into the melee of a tree-lined place, with carriages and omnibuses circulating and pedestrians dispersing into the streets. These anonymous urban dwellers dressed in dark clothing are mere blurs in the lively milieu, a world away from Millet’s monumental figure who commands the space of his environment. Although the pastel appears closer to a sketch than a completed work, Pissarro deliberately challenged accepted notions of finish. He signed and dated the sheet and exhibited it as an independent work alongside his paintings and smaller drawings in the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition of 1881.

More Information: http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=61243#.UT9-kVegv0c[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org



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