How Much Do You Know About Camille Pissarro?

Camille Pissarro (whose full name is Jacob-Abraham-Camille Pissarro) was born on 10 July 1830 in St Thomas, Danish West Indies. He died on 13 November 1903, Paris, France. Pissarro was a painter and printmaker who was a key figure in the history of Impressionism.

Camille was the only artist to exhibit his work in all eight Impressionist group exhibitions. Throughout his career, Pissarro remained passionate about the idea of such alternative forums of exhibition.

He experimented with many styles of painting, including a period when he adopted Georges Seurat’s “pointillist” approach. A supportive friend as well as mentor to influential artists such as Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, Camille was described by many who knew him as “Father Pissarro”.

Camille Pissarro’s Early Life

Camille Pissarro’s father was a French citizen of Portuguese Jewish descent who travelled to St Thomas in order to assist with settling the estate of his late uncle. Pissarro wound up marrying his uncle’s widow, Rachel Pomié Petit. Their marriage was controversial and not recognised immediately by the small Jewish community where they were resident. As a result of this, the Pissarro children grew up as outsiders in the community.

At the age of 12, Camille was sent by his parents to a boarding school in France. There, he established an early appreciation of the French art masters. After finishing his education, Pissarro returned to St. Thomas, and although he firstly became involved in his family’s mercantile business, Pissarro never stopped drawing as well as painting in his spare time.

Pissarro Assisted With Laying The Foundations For Impressionism

From 1855 in France, Pissarro discovered the new work of the Barbizon as well as the Realist painters, Corot, Daubigny, Millet and Courbet. He was inspired by their direct representation of landscape.

During classes at the Académie Suisse in Paris, he met Monet and Cézanne. These two prolific painters shared his aversion for what they regarded as the clichéd art of the Salon. In the 1860s, they would often meet up with fellow painters Renoir, Sisley and Manet in addition to writers such as Emile Zola in order to debate art at the Café Guerbois.

A new format of painting was in the making: one which shunned the conventions of the Academy and Salon for real life. Painting outdoors, frequently side by side, Pissarro and his friends developed a new pictorial language which captured fleeting impressions of the world in rapid brushstrokes.

Pissarro Lived In London For A Period Of Time

In 1870, long before Canadian crypto slots sites came on the scene, the Franco-Prussian war broke out. Camille Pissarro fled to London, taking his future wife, Julie, as well as their son, Lucien, with him.

From his home in Lower Norwood, Pissarro paid multiple visits to the National Gallery with fellow exile Monet to admire the work of Turner and Constable. When they submitted work to the Royal Academy’s annual exhibition, however, it was not accepted.

Pissarro’s time in England was crucial for another reason. It was here that he met the gallerist, dealer and champion of Impressionism, Paul Durand-Ruel.

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