Saturday, June 20, 2015

01 Work, Streets of Paris, Camille Pissarro's Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon, with footnotes, #11

Camille Pissarro
Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon. Effect of Rain, 1897
Oil on canvas. 81 x 65 cm

Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon. Effect of Rain belongs to a series of fifteen works that Camille Pissarro painted in Paris from the window of his hotel in the place du Théâtre Français during the winter of 1897 and 1898. Pissarro, who had spent practically all of his life in the country and was basically a landscape painter — and one of the first convincing practitioners of plein air painting — was forced to move to the city for health reasons towards the end of his life. It was then that he began to paint urban scenes viewed from windows, capturing the bustle of the streets of cities like Rouen and Paris. Stylistically, this last decade of his life coincides with his return to an Impressionist technique after experimenting with the influence of Seurat for a short period. Pointillisme , which he abandoned owing to its excessive rigidity, helped him lighten his palette and compose his last paintings in a less rigorous manner. More on this painting

Camille Pissarro (10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903) was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.

In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, becoming the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the "dean of the Impressionist painters", not only because he was the oldest of the group, but also "by virtue of his wisdom and his balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality".  More on Camille Pissarro




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