Camille Pissaro (1873)
Mention impressionism and usually the first name that comes to mind is Claude Monet. Yes Monet was the giant of impressionism and he was faithful to the idea for his entire career. Who else can compare to Monet? To my mind the next name should be Camille Pissaro.
Pissaro was the epitomy of steady progress through the impressionist period and beyond. Wise beyond his years and always willing to pass on his thoughts . Many famous artists of the late 1800’s sought advice from Pissaro. Most famous of his collaborators was Paul Cezanne to whom Pissaro provided much moral support.
“Precise drawing is dry and hampers the impression of the whole. It is the brushstroke of the right value and color which should produce the drawings.” (Pissaro)
Pissaro sought truth in nature. He was passionate about painting from real life. The rural scenes, common folk and hardships of everyday life were typical subjects. Pissaro was influenced by artists like Corot and Courbet who started painting from real rural scenes. However Pissaro went further and followed the entire progression of impressionism until the movement began to give way to new directions in the early twentieth century.
Despite the appearance of a conservative patriach Pissaro was very much left leaning in his beliefs. He had no time for the aristocracy and elite classes. Yet his dedication and work ethic was unquestioned. In his later years, despite an eye infection and old age, Pissaro continued to work outdoors or from hotel windows when necessary to express himself through the natural world.
Pissaro left a major contribution to the art world for others to learn from and enjoy.
Do not be timid in the presence of nature; one must be bold at the risk of being deceived and making mistakes. One must have only one teacher – nature. She is the one always to be consulted.
Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa