Posts Tagged 'Pissarro'

A Winter Landscape

The Banks of the Marne in Winter 1866 Art Institute of Chicago PDR 107

The Banks of the Marne in Winter 1866
Art Institute of Chicago PDR 107

This elegant painting by  Pissarro, which appeared in the Salon of 1866, must have looked very different from the others. It drew the attention of critics, one of whom called it a “vulgar view.” We know that Pissarro lived nearby. After he died, this picture was included in the inventory of his works and was called Landscape at La Varenne-Saint-Hilaire. He and his companion Julie were living there the previous spring, when their first daughter Jeanne Rachel was born.

But why this scene, which is so bleak, so empty? It is intriguing because of its mystery—it does not tell a story, does not pamper the eye. It is a tightly-woven geometric structure of horizontal and diagonal lines that pulls you into its web. Anchoring the painting is the straight line beginning with the river bank on the left of the canvas and meeting what we assume is a road with the horse and carriage, then extends through the smattering of houses to the right edge. In the midst of the dark green ground cover, a shorter line of dark earth extends to the right side. Midway up the mountain just below the white house on the crest of the hill is another dark line, presumably a road.

These three more or less parallel lines are slashed by the strong diagonal road leading from the left lower corner, accentuated by spindly leafless trees. A woman walks the other direction to draw our attention to the carriage with white horses at the corner. There are other diagonals, softer ones—the line of trees from the crest of the hill to a house below and a renegade dark line in the clouds above.

For Pissarro, it was enough. And for Emile Zola, a writer and art critic who was seeing Pissarro’s work for the first time, it also was enough. He wrote a long glowing review of the painting including the following comments: “…you ought to know that you please nobody and that your painting is thought to be too bare, too black. So why the devil do you have the arrant awkwardness to paint solidly and study nature so honestly!…Not the least delectation for the eye. A grave and austere kind of painting, an extreme care for truth and rightness, an iron will. You are a clumsy blunderer, sir —you are an artist that I like.”

Looking at a Pissarro painting is not always easy—he requires us to think, to look closely and to question what we see.  This is why his paintings are endlessly interesting.

The quote from Zola is taken from Pissarro:Critical Catalogue, Pissarro and Durand-Ruel Snollaerts (2005).

This painting is one of 35 paintings by Pissarro featured in the book PISSARRO’S PLACES www.pissarrosplaces.com

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  One winter day while returning on the train from Reims to Paris, I saw a line of hills that looked strikingly familiar, and even more so because of a bright green ground cover of some sort that extended from the railroad tracks to some houses. I quickly checked the GPS of my phone and found, much to my surprise, I was in the very area painted by Pissarro!  

PISSARRO in Australia

A Meadow at Eragny, 1886, PDR 829

A Meadow at Eragny, 1886, PDR 829

When Sotheby’s held their Impressionist sale last November, this blog featured their offering of seven paintings by Pissarro.  This was one of them, and it has a new home–in a museum on view for all of us to see for many years to come.

The Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide purchased this painting for their collection, according a story in THE AUSTRALIAN, Sydney’s daily newspaper. The Art Gallery, founded in 1881, has an outstanding collection of 38,000 works of art from Australia, Europe, North America, and Asia. Adelaide is the fifth largest city in Australia and is located on the southern coast west of Sydney.

Pissarro made this glorious painting in 1886 during the time he was experimenting with pointillism.  It’s a small painting, only 24 1/2 by 28 7/8 in. It is one of those that must be seen in person to get the full effect. Photographs cannot capture the delicate colors and myriad tiny brushstrokes. The apple tree is obviously the focal point. It is the largest object, just off center to the left, and it stands at a point where three different fields meet.

It’s autumn, judging by the golden trees in the background, and if you look carefully, you can see red apples on the tree. It is probably late afternoon. The full strength of the setting sun is clearly shown on the tree’s left side. Its shadow is almost long enough to reach the post some distance to the right. It’s hard to tell, but when you see it in person, the light in the sky graduates slowly from a clear blue at the top of the canvas to a light coral above the horizon.

Nothing is as good as seeing a Pissarro painting in person, especially this one. Australia, anyone?

Roses of Nice — PISSARRO in Barcelona

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Roses of Nice, 1902

Private Collection  PDR 1426

Camille Pissarro did not paint bouquets of flowers very often, but those he created are masterful. This one, featured in the PISSARRO exhibition in Barcelona, is a real treasure. Six pale pink roses, stand in a crystal vase, fully open and almost ready to drop their petals. The pale pink is highlighted with a creamy white that gives the flowers an inner glow. The vase sits on the lower level of a highly-polished chest. In the background, two paintings hang on the wall, but it is unclear whether they are Pissarro’s work. The one on the left hangs a little crooked and appears to include mountains. Could it be a Cezanne?

Pissarro must have made this painting in the spring of 1902, because in May he donated it to a sale at the Drouot auction house benefiting the widow of an artist friend.  Since he was always very specific in the names of paintings, we wonder about this one which clearly indicates that the pink roses are from Nice. At that time, Pissarro and his family were living in Paris on the Ile-de-la-Cité in an apartment facing Pont Neuf. The flowers may have come from Le Marché aux Fleurs, the flower market that has supplied flowers to the neighborhood since 1808.  While the market probably had roses in early spring (there are always roses in flower shops in Paris), would Pissarro have known where they were from?  Would he have bought them or would Julie have picked them up during her shopping trip?

When I saw this painting with Robert Froh, an American artist living in Barcelona, he suggested a more interesting idea.  Perhaps they were brought to the Pissarro family from Nice by Henri Matisse, who was living in Nice in 1902. Pissarro met Matisse at Durand-Ruel’s gallery in Paris in 1897.  According to Pissarro; Critical Catalogue (2005), “Though he never worked with Pissarro, Matisse benefited from his advice, found in him an attentive teacher and came under his influence for awhile.” Matisse visited Pissarro at his apartment on  Rue de Rivoli and watched him create his paintings of the Tuileries gardens (Pissarro: His Life and Work, 1980). So it is entirely possible that he came to Paris to visit Pissarro, bringing roses from Nice as a gift.  And it obviously pleased Pissarro to remember those roses in this lovely painting.

Robert Froh is from MIlwaukee, Wisconsin and has lived in Barcelona for a number of years. Take a look at his work: http://robertfroh.com/

The PISSARRO exhibition will be on view at the CaixaForum in Barcelona until mid-January. PISSARRO’S PLACES is available at the CaixaForum and also at the Excellence bookstore during the exhibition.

PISSARRO’S PLACES in Barcelona–11 November

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PISSARRO’S PLACES will be the center of attention when I give my slide-lecture at the EXCELLENCE Bookstore in Barcelona, Spain on 11 November at 11:30 in the morning.  This prominent bookstore is partnering with the Barcelona Women’s Network to sponsor the program.  They will offer the book for the remainder of the PISSARRO exhibition at the CaixaForum. If you are in Barcelona, make plans to join us!

PISSARRO’S PLACES

Slide-lecture by Ann Saul

EXCELLENCE Bookstore, C/Balmes, 191,Barcelona

11 November, 11:30 am

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DO-IT-YOURSELF — PISSARRO EXHIBITION — THIS WEEKEND IN NEW YORK!!

Banks of the Loing at Moret, 1901, PDR 1369 Sothebys, Lot 39

Banks of the Loing at Moret, 1901, PDR 1369
Sothebys, Lot 39

When Christies, Sothebys and Bonhams have their semi-annual sales of Impressionist paintings, you never know what you’ll see!  This is your chance to see the paintings up for sale. Most of them are from private collections and may not have been seen in public for a long time.  Likewise, when the hammer falls on the auction block next week, most of these paintings will go back into private collections. We can only hope that the new owners will graciously share them for future exhibitions.

SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF!

Organize your own exhibition around the seven Pissarro oil paintings on view this weekend — all of them outstanding.  Save the most time for Sotheby’s—they have five paintings on view:  Lots 35, 39, 42, 44 and 58;  Christies is offering one painting, Lot 44, and Bonhams has one spectacular painting Lot 23.  All seven are shown in this blog.

AND THERE’S A SPECIAL BONUS ON SUNDAY AT BONHAMS!

Pissarro, An Artist for the 21st Century, A lecture by Patricia Mainardi, PhD

2:00 pm on Sunday, 3 Nov 2013 at Bonhams, 580 Madison Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets

They request an RSVP by Nov. 1 events.us@bonhams.com  +1 212 644 9143

Here are the other paintings. They may look nice on the screen, but nothing compares with seeing them in person!!

The “Englishman’s House,” Eragny, c. 1902, PDR 1465 Sothebys, Lot 44

The “Englishman’s House,” Eragny, c. 1902, PDR 1465
Sothebys, Lot 44

The Hills at Thierceville, Haystacks, 1897, PDR 1189 Sothebys, Lot 42

The Hills at Thierceville, Haystacks, 1897, PDR 1189
Sothebys, Lot 42

 

A Meadow at Eragny, 1886, PDR 829 Sothebys, Lot 35

A Meadow at Eragny, 1886, PDR 829
Sothebys, Lot 35

 

The Seine in Flood, Pont Boieldieu, Rouen, 1896, PDR 1120 Sothebys, Lot 58

The Seine in Flood, Pont Boieldieu, Rouen, 1896, PDR 1120
Sothebys, Lot 58

 

Landscape with Houses and Wall, Eragny, 1892, PDR 968 Christies, Lot 44

Landscape with Houses and Wall, Eragny, 1892, PDR 968
Christies, Lot 44

 

The Garden at Maubuisson, Pontoise, 1882, PDR 696 Bonhams, Lot 23

The Garden at Maubuisson, Pontoise, 1882, PDR 696
Bonhams, Lot 23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sense the Quiet Pulse of the Earth

The Old Road to Ennery at Pontoise, 1877 National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

The Old Road to Ennery at Pontoise, 1877
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

This painting is one of those in the PISSARRO exhibition in Madrid (previous post)—a serene landscape painted near Pontoise. Just right of center, a woman rides sidesaddle on a horse, leading us into the picture. The road, just a dirt lane through the fields,  intersects with a large road bordered by trees. Between the smaller trees, other haystacks are visible in the distance. On the large road at the left, another woman walks out of the painting.

This simple landscape, divided almost equally between land and sky, is actually quite complicated. The horizon line is slightly curved like the edge of the earth. With nothing to stop our gaze, it stretches on both sides into infinity. The small curved lane where the woman is riding is roughly perpendicular to the large road. To the left of the horse is a small green triangle that makes a line with a row of green cabbages on the other side, creating a curvy X. Not to be outdone, the sky is filled with “buttermilk” clouds interspersed with big puffs that hurry from left to right.

At first glance, the colors seem simple too—red, yellow, green, blue and white. But the fields on the right reveal a myriad of greens—some more yellow, others more blue—side by side. The fields on the left are plain except for dashes of red—perhaps a newly plowed field.

Filled with movement and life, this painting requires a very large canvas. It is, in fact, approximately 59 inches wide and 36 inches high. Though the scene is placid, we sense the quiet pulse of the earth.

You can see it in Madrid at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemiszo for a few more weeks. In October, the PISSARRO exhibition will move to CaixaForum in Barcelona.

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 PISSARRO’S PLACES, the book that explores all the sites painted by Pissarro, is now on sale at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemiszo. It will also be on sale in Barcelona at the CaixaForum in October.

See PISSARRO’S PLACES, the presentation

Philadelphia – Osher Lifetime Learning Institute on October 18

Chicago – Newberry International Research Library on October 23

To schedule a PISSARRO’S PLACES presentation for your organization, contact: Ann Saul at annsaul33@pissarrosplaces.com

 

 

SPAIN LOVES PISSARRO

A man looks at the painting "The old road to Ennery at Pontoise" (L) by Camille Pissaro (R) next to the painting "Still life with peonies and Mock orange" during the opening of the first monographic exhibition in Spain on Danish-French impressionist painter Camille Pissarro at the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum in Madrid, on June 3, 2013. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET.

A man looks at the painting “The old road to Ennery at Pontoise” (L) by Camille Pissaro (R) next to the painting “Still life with peonies and Mock orange” during the opening of the first monographic exhibition in Spain on Danish-French impressionist painter Camille Pissarro at the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum in Madrid, on June 3, 2013. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET. (From ART DAILY NEWS)

Spain must be loving Pissarro this week.  In the last seven days, the Pissarro blog counted 62 views from SPAIN!! Viewers from the US were a distant second at 14 views. www.artbookannex.com
No doubt, this is a result of PISSARRO, the extraordinary exhibition of his paintings currently at the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid.  After it closes on September 15, the exhibition will travel to Barcelona, CaixaForum, from 15 October 2013 to 13 January 2014. If you’re in Spain this summer, don’t miss it.  This is a great opportunity to see paintings not often seen in exhibitions, including two from the Pitti Palace in Florence.
For more information, see: www.museothyssen.org/
PISSARRO’S PLACES, the book sold at the Madrid exhibition is available at:

ON A DAY LIKE TODAY, FRENCH PAINTER CAMILLE PISSARRO WAS BORN

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THIS ARTICLE APPEARED TODAY IN THE ART DAILY NEWSLETTER.

July 10, 1830.- Camille Pissarro (10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903) was a French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54. In this image: An unidentified visitor looks at an impressionist painting by Camille Pissarro called the Rue Saint-Honore apre-midi, Rue Saint-Honore Afternoon, Rain Effect, in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Thursday May 12, 2005.

The book PISSARRO’S PLACES is available in the bookstore of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

 

 

NEW WEBSITE — PISSARRO’S PLACES

promo cover

The new website for PISSARRO’S PLACES is now live on the web!  Check it out and let us know what you think.

http://www.pissarrosplaces.com

There is a link on the website for your comments and we look forward to hearing from you.

Will you be in Paris on May 22?  If so, please accept this invitation to hear Ann Saul talk about

 PISSARRO’S PLACES

in a slide-lecture presentation at 7:30 at

The American Library in Paris

10 Rue du Général Camou  75007 Paris

PISSARRO’S PLACES

is honored to be one of the official publications of the

NORMANDIE IMPRESSIONNISTE FESTIVAL OF 2013

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PISSARRO’S PLACES — Announcing the book launch!

6. PONTOISE d.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Professional

PISSARRO’S PLACES tells his story in a fresh and different way—exploring the places he painted and his “sensations” as he translated them into brushstrokes on his canvas. In his landscapes, you almost feel the sun and the wind in the trees. In his city paintings, you sense the hustle and bustle of traffic. This was his genius.

Rather than settling for the familiar, Pissarro courageously put himself into new situations in pursuit of different and exciting motifs. With PISSARRO’S PLACES, you see those places through his eyes. All the paintings featured in the book are located in public museums and are accessible to the public.

“I thought I knew every nook and cranny of Pissarro’s varied relations throughout the world, but you’ve just taught us there are many places we had missed, so many details we had not seen.”  Joachim Pissarro, great-grandson of Camille Pissarro and preeminent art historian

Visit the website to learn more about PISSARRO’S PLACES!   http://www.pissarrosplaces.com  (After 4/10/13)

 The regular list price is $39.99.

For the book launch until June 1, the price will be $29.99.

 

You can also order the book by emailing pissarrosplaces@gmail.com

or by writing Ann Saul, 225 S. 18th Street, Unit 510, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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