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Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903)

Camille Pissarro was one of the most influential members of the French Impressionist movement and the only artist to participate in all eight Impressionist exhibitions.

Born 10th July 1830 on the island of Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies, Camille was the son of Frédéric and Rachel Pissarro. At the age of twelve, he went to school in Paris, where he displayed a penchant for drawing. He returned again to Paris in 1855, having convinced his parents to pursue a career as an artist rather than work in the family import/export business. Camille studied at the Académie Suisse alongside Claude Monet, and, during this time, he met Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

In 1869, Camille settled in Louveciennes. The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 prompted him to move to England, and, with Monet, Camille painted a series of landscapes around Norwood and Crystal Palace, whilst studying English landscape painting in the museums.

Upon returning a year later at the end of the War to Louveciennes, Camille discovered that his studio was looted by Prussian soldiers and around 500 of his works destroyed or disappeared. In fact, only around 180 of the approximately 700 works he would have painted from 1855, the year he began painting in oil until 1870, remained undamaged as it is recorded in the 2006 catalogue raisonné.

Camille settled in Pontoise in the summer of 1871, remaining there and gathering a close circle of friends around him for the next ten years. He reestablished relationships with Cézanne, Manet, Monet, Renoir and Degas, expressing his desire to create an alternative to the Salon, so that their group could display their own unique styles. Camille married Julie Vellay, with whom he would have seven children. Cézanne repeatedly came to stay with them, and, under Camille’s influence, he learned to study nature more patiently, even copying one of Camille’s landscapes, in order to learn his teacher’s technique.

The first Impressionist group exhibition, initiated by Monet in 1874, earned the Impressionists much criticism for their art. While mainly interested in landscape, Camille introduced people – generally peasants going about their rural occupations – and animals into his works, and they often became the focal point of the composition. It was this unsentimental and realistic approach, with the complete absence of any pretence, which seemed to stop his work from finding appreciation in the general public.

One of the few collectors who did show interest in Camille’s work was a bank employee called Paul Gauguin, who, after acquiring a small collection of Impressionist works, turned to Camille for advice on becoming a painter himself. For several years, Gauguin closely followed his mentor, and, although their friendship was fraught with disagreement and misunderstandings, Gauguin still wrote shortly before Camille’s death in 1903: “He was one of my masters, and I do not deny him”.

In the 1880s, Camille moved from Pontoise to nearby Osny, before Eragny, a small village much further from Paris. At a time when he was dissatisfied with his work, in 1885, Camille met both Paul Signac and Georges Seurat. He was fascinated by their efforts to replace the intuitive perceptive approach of the Impressionists with a “Divisionist” method, or scientific study of nature’s phenomena based on optical laws. Despite having reached his mid-fifties, Camille did not hesitate to follow the two young innovators. The following year, he passed on this new concept to Vincent Van Gogh, who had just arrived in Paris and was keen to learn of the most recent developments in art. However, after a few years, Camille felt restricted by Seurat’s theories and returned to his more spontaneous technique, whilst retaining the lightness and purity of colour acquired during his Divisionist phase.

In the last years of his life, Camille divided his time between Paris, Rouen, Le Havre and Eragny, painting several series of different aspects of these cities, with varying light and weather effects. Many of these paintings are considered amongst his best and make an apt finale to his long and prodigious career.

When Camille Pissarro died in the autumn of 1903, he had finally started to gain public recognition. Today his work can be found in many of the most important museums and collections throughout the world.
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  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Lisière du Bois Oil on canvas
    25.5 x 37 cm (10 x 14 ⅝ inches)
    Signed and dated lower left, C. Pissarro 67
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Bords de l’Oise, Environs de Pontoise Oil on canvas
    32.4 x 40.9 cm (12 ¾ x 16 ⅛ inches)
    Signed and dated lower right, C. Pissarro 1872
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Le Ru de Montbuisson, Louveciennes Oil on canvas
    46 x 55.5 cm (18 ⅛ x 21 ⅞ inches)
    Signed lower right, C. Pissarro
    Executed circa 1869
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Entrance to a Village Charcoal on paper
    26.7 x 43.2 (10 ½ x 17 inches)
    Signed with Estate stamp lower right, C.P.
    Executed circa 1860

     

  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Montmorency Pencil on paper
    21 x 32.5 cm (8 ¼ x 12 ¾ inches)
    Stamped with initials, C.P.
    Executed circa 1858-1860
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Crystal Palace Pencil on paper
    24.5 x 38.5 cm (9 ⁵/₈ x 15 ¹/₈ inches)
    Inscribed lower left, Cristal Palace
    Executed circa 1870-71
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Two Women Carrying Vases on their Heads with Studies of two Women in Profile Black lead, pen and brown ink
    20.3 x 26.8 cm (8 x 10 ¹/₂ inches)
    Inscribed upper middle, A M
    Executed in Venezuela circa 1852-1854

    Verso: A Man seen from Behind, Two Bulls Pulling a Cart, a Donkey in Profile to the Left, and a Woman, Half-length 
    Inscribed, Prudencia
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Group of Indians by a Fountain Black chalk, pen and brown ink on paper
    26 x 20.3 cm (10 ¹/₄ x 8 inches)
    Inscribed, Caracas
    Executed in Venezuela circa 1852-1854
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Studies of Figures, a Cow in Profile and a Horse Pulling a Cart Pen, brown ink and black chalk on paper
    20.3 x 26.8 cm (8 x 10 ¹/₂ inches)
    Executed in Venezuela circa 1852-1854

    Verso: Studies of Women and of Men on Donkeys
     
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Figure Studies, a Goat and Child, Studies of Heads and a Seated Woman Black lead on paper
    20.3 x 26.8 cm (8 x 10 ¹/₂ inches)
    Executed in Venezuela circa 1852-1854

    Verso: Two Mules, a Seated Figure and a Figure Carrying a Bowl on their Head
     
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Two Seated Women Black lead, pen and brown ink
    20.3 x 26.8 cm (8 x 10 ½ inches)
    Executed in Venezuela circa 1852-1854

    Verso: Three figures and an ox seen from behind in a landscape, with figures , Inscribed, anorico
     
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Baigneuse Mettant ses Bas Ink on paper
    13 x 17.5 cm (6 ⅛ x 7 ½ inches)
    Signed with Estate stamp lower right, C.P.
    Executed circa early 1890s

    Verso: Woman Bathing
     
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) La Charrue Lithograph printed in colour
    22.5 x 15 cm (8 ⅞ x 5 inches)
    Signed in the plate, C. Pissarro
    3rd edition
    Coneived circa 1898-1901
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) A Hut in a Mountainous Landscape with a Plough and Figures Black lead on paper
    20.3 x 26.8 cm (8 x 10 ½ inches)
    Executed in Venezuela circa 1853
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Cours Boieldieu, à Rouen Etching on paper
    14.9 x 19.4 cm (5 ⅞ x 7 ⅝ inches)
    2nd edition
    Signed with Estate stamp lower right (Lugt 613d)
    Estate stamp is Loys Delteil no.2 of the first series published in 1907
    Inscribed lower left, Nº 17 Cours Boëldieu à Rouen (avec femme a gauche)
    Conceived in 1884
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Une Ruelle à Rouen (Rue des Arpents) Etching
    12.3 x 12.3 cm (4 ⅞ x 4 ⅞ inches)
    Stamped lower right with blue monogram; titled and numbered 13 lower left
    From the posthumous edition of 1907
    Delteil No. 42
    Executed in 1883
     
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Vue de Rouen (Cours la Reine) Etching
    Drypoint and aquatint
    14.8 x 19.5 cm (5 ⅞ x 7 ⅝ inches)
    Stamped with brown monogram & numbered 18/60
    Executed in 1884
    From the posthumous edition of 1920
    Delteil No. 50
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) La Rue Malpalue, à Rouen Etching
    19.8 x 15 cm (7 ¾ x 5 ⅞ inches)
    Signed with Estate stamp lower right
    Inscribed, no.12
    Executed circa 1883-1884
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Paysan, Le Père Melon Etching
    10.5 x 16.5 cm (4 ⅛ x 6 ½ inches)
    Stamped with grey monogram & numbered 9/12
    Executed in 1879
    From the posthumous edition of either 1922, 1923 or 1930, all of which were stamped with the same monogram
    Delteil No.25
  • Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) Grand’mère dans son Fauteuil (La Mère de l'Artiste) Etching
    9.9 x 6.1 cm (3 ⅞ x 2 ⅜ inches)
    Stamped with dark grey monogram and numbered 2/18
    From the posthumous edition of either 1922,1923 or 1930
    Delteil No. 73
    Executed in 1888

For more available works please contact us on stern@pissarro.com or +44 (0)20 7629 6662.

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