Camille Pissarro was a French painter who was born on July 10, 1830, in Charlotte Amalie, on the island of St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands). His parents were of French and Portuguese Jewish descent, and his father was a successful merchant. When he was twelve years old, Pissarro moved to Paris to attend school, where he discovered his passion for art.
Pissarro's early paintings were heavily influenced by the Barbizon School of landscape painting, which emphasized naturalistic observation and plain air painting. In 1855, he met a young artist named Claude Monet, who introduced him to the Impressionist movement. Pissarro became a key member of the Impressionist group and exhibited his work in all but one of their eight exhibitions.
In 1871, Pissarro married Julie Vellay, a young French woman, and they had eight children together. Pissarro was also close friends with other artists, including Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, and Georges Seurat.
Pissarro worked in various locations throughout his life, including France, England, Venezuela, and Denmark. He was particularly fond of rural landscapes and often painted scenes of farmers, fields, and trees. His technique was characterized by loose, visible brushstrokes and a vibrant color palette, both of which were hallmarks of Impressionism.
Pissarro's influence on the art world was significant. He mentored many young artists, including Paul Gauguin and Georges Seurat, and his work played a key role in the development of Post-Impressionism and the Neo-Impressionist movement. Today, his paintings can be found in museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, and the National Gallery in London.
Here are five of Pissarro's most important paintings:
"Landscape at Pontoise" (1874) - This painting is one of Pissarro's most famous works and features a rural landscape with trees, fields, and a river in the background.
"The Boulevard Montmartre at Night" (1897) - This painting depicts a bustling Parisian street scene at night, with bright lights and reflections in the wet pavement.
"Peasant Girl with a Straw Hat" (1881) - This portrait of a young girl in a field captures the innocence and beauty of rural life.
"The Red Roofs, Corner of a Village" (1877) - This painting showcases Pissarro's signature loose brushstrokes and bright colors, with a focus on the roofs of the village houses.
"The Harvest" (1882) - This painting features a group of farmers working in a field, with a beautiful landscape in the background. It demonstrates Pissarro's commitment to capturing the beauty of rural life and the natural world.