Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was a key figure in the impressionist and post impressionist movement. His works were key in the progression of both. He counted amount his great friends and colleagues Claude Monet and Edgar Degas. He preferred to work in the outside, capturing gorgeous moments like the one below. An interesting fact about Pissarro is that he married his mother’s maid and had eight children with her.

The painter Camille Pissarro was the most artistically innovative and socially concerned, most revered, and eldest of the famed and courageous group of French painters known as the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, and the only Jew among them. Mentor, friend, enthusiast, perhaps their leader, he was a major figure in this French art world. At his memorial in 1904 Octave Mirbeau proclaimed, “Camille Pissarro was one of the greatest painters of this century, and of all centuries.” WideWalls

Late Afternoon in our Meadow is an excellent example of Pointillism.  Pointillism is a technique of neo-impressionist painting using tiny dots of various pure colours, which become blended in the viewer’s eye. Seurat developed this art form most and we will discuss one of his pieces in a short while.  I saw one of Pissarro’s Pointillist pieces in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The Pont Boieldieu, Rouen, Sunset was a sensational piece and I look forward to when the gallery opens again. The great thing about Pointillism is that the further away you are from the painting, the clearer it becomes. The closer you get the more vivid the colours become. It’s a win win.

I was drawn to Late Afternoon in our Meadow because of the rich purple in the centre. I was then taken by the way Pissarro has succeeded in bringing to life so may elements in this meadow, from the woman in white to the young trees in the foreground, extending to the single cypress tree in the background. I think it is a lovely painting and a lovely example of pointillism.

The Channel of Gravelines, Petit Fort Philippe, George Seurat 1890

This for me is the high mark of Pointillism. Seurat has depicted a beautiful scene at the Petit Fort Phillipe. The boats are just gorgeous, the variety of boats depicted is lovely. The shadows depicted by the walls are masterly. The scope of the painting and the depth is also impressive. I like the way the whole painting is framed by slightly darker pigment dots around the borders is great. There is a sense of refinement and beautiful luminosity in this painting. I especially like the reflection of the lighthouse in the water.

His systematic application of dots in colours carefully chosen according to laws of chromatic harmony results in unparalleled luminosity. Seurat painted a narrow border of darker dots around the edge of the canvas, heightening the brilliance of the light. Indianapolis Museum of Art Collections Handbook.

Palais Ducale, Monet (The Doge’s Palace) 1908

Moving from Pointillism, I wanted to highlight a Monet piece, following in the Impressionist theme, the Palais Ducale. This piece came to my attention following a piece in Art Newspaper. I was spellbound by it. The way that the palace is reflected on the water. The crude visible brushstrokes depicting so much motion and so many intricate details on the palace itself without the need for absolute precision is masterly to me. One even gets a glimpse of the well to do people wandering the corridor beneath the arches middle of the painting. This is so wonderful to me I felt I should share it with you.

I hope you have enjoyed these three Impressionist masters as much as I have. Until next we meet…