|Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)|
Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro was born on the island of St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies (since 1917 the US Virgin Islands) to Frederick and Rachel Pissarro, a merchant of Portuguese Jewish descent. At age twelve Camille's father sent him to boarding school in France. He studied at the Savary Academy in Passy near Paris. While a young student, he developed an early appreciation of the French art masters. However, when he returned to St. Thomas at age 17, his father preferred that he worked in his business and gave him a job working as a cargo clerk. He took every opportunity during those next five years at the job to practice drawing during breaks and after work. Pissarro was attracted to political anarchy, an attraction that may have originated during his years in St. Thomas. In 1852, he traveled to Venezuela with the Danish artist Fritz Melbye, who inspired Pissarro to take on painting as a full-time profession, becoming his teacher and friend. In 1855, Pissarro left for Paris, where he began working as assistant to Anton Melbye, Fritz Melbye's brother, and studied at various academic institutions under a succession of masters, such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, and Charles-Francois Daubigny.
|The Harvest, 1882, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo|
In the early 1870s Pissarro devoted a great deal of thought to the idea of creating an alternative to the Salon, a plan he discussed with Monet, Renoir, and others. They devised the idea of a society with a charter based on that of a local bakers’ union, and by January 1874 Pissarro helped found a cooperative along these lines. In April of that year the group held their first exhibition at the studio of the photographer Félix Nadar in Paris, at 35 Boulevard des Capucines, a show that became known as the first Impressionist exhibition, which shocked and "horrified" the critics, who primarily appreciated only scenes portraying religious, historical, or mythological settings. In 1871, Pissarro married Julie Vellay, a maid in his mother's household. Of their eight children, one died at birth and one daughter died aged nine. The surviving children all painted, and Lucien, the oldest son, became a follower of William Morris.
|The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning, 1897, |
Metropolitan Museum of Art
At yovisto you can learn more about Impressionism in the lecture of Dr. Parme Giuntini, Director of Art History at Otis College of Art and Design, on Impressionism.
References and Further Reading:
- Camille Pissarro's biography on Camille Pissarro website
- Camille Pissarro - French Impressionist and Painter
- Claude Monet and Impressionism
- Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec - A Giant in Art
- Paul Gauguin's Way Back to Primitivism
- Felix Nadar and the Art of Photography
- There is no blue without yellow and without orange - Vincent van Gogh
- George Braque - Master of Cubism
- Paul Cezanne - Breaking all the Rules
- Henri Matisse and the Rush of Colors
- Pablo Picasso - A Giant in Art
- Ceci n'est pas une Pipe
- Caspar David Friedrich and the German Romanticism
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