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.

* * * * * * * * * * *

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.

* * * * * * * * * * *

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.

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2 Responses to “And the days grow shorter…for PISSARRO in Madrid”


  1. 1 Lois Satalof August 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    If Pissarro isn’t known around the world by now, it won’t be Ann Saul’s fault. She really knows how to make people understand, and appreciate his work.

  2. 2 said-simply October 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    What an amazing painting! I love Pissarro.


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