Camille Pissarro [1830 – 1903]

Self Portrait
Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter

Camille Pissarro

was born,
July 10, 1830,
on the island of St Thomas*
*now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies

Pissarro was a key figure in the history of Impressionism. He was the only artist to show his work in all eight Impressionist group exhibitions; throughout his career he remained dedicated to the idea of such alternative forums of exhibition. He experimented with many styles, including a period when he adopted Georges Seurat’s “pointillist” approach. A supportive friend and mentor to influential artists such as Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, he was described by many who knew him as “Father Pissarro.” Gauguin, who studied under him, referred to Pissarro

as a force with which future artists would have to reckon“.

Art historian Diane Kelder notes that it was Pissarro who introduced Gauguin, who was then a young stockbroker studying to become an artist, to Degas and Cézanne. Gauguin, near the end of his career, wrote a letter to a friend in 1902, shortly before Pissarro’s death:

If we observe the totality of Pissarro’s work, we find there, despite fluctuations, not only an extreme artistic will, never belied, but also an essentially intuitive, purebred art … He was one of my masters and I do not deny him.”

The American impressionist Mary Cassatt, who at one point lived in Paris to study art, and joined his Impressionist group, noted that he was

such a teacher that he could have taught the stones to draw correctly.

(From Wikipedia)

Wouldn’t I love to have him as a teacher!!!!!

So here’s a glimpse of his work & words
Le jardin de Maubuisson, Pontoise

“Paint the essential character of things.”

Ship entering the Harbor at Le Havre
Morning, An Overcast Day, Rouen

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”

Place du Havre, Paris
Old Chelsea Bridge, London

“The whole world is beautiful, the art is in the seeing.”

Children on a Farm

“At fifty, that is in 1880, I formulated the idea of unity, without being able to render it. At sixty, I am beginning to see the possibility of rendering it.”

Le jardin de Maubuisson, Pontoise

“Cover the canvas at the first go, then work at it until you see nothing more to add.”

The Harvest

“Don’t be afraid in nature: one must be bold, at the risk of having been deceived and making mistakes.”

The Hay Cart, Montfoucault
Washerwoman, Study

“God takes care of imbeciles, little children and artists.”

The Harvest, Pontoise
Jalais Hill, Pontoise

“I began to understand my sensations, to know what I wanted, at around the age of forty – but only vaguely.”

The Garden of Pontoise
Road to Versailles at Louveciennes

“I regard it as a waste of time to think only of selling: one forgets one’s art and exaggerates one’s value.”

The Côte des Bœufs at L’Hermitage
Entrée du village de Voisins

“I remember that, although I was full of fervour, I didn’t have the slightest inkling, even at forty, of the deeper side to the movement we were pursuing by instinct. It was in the air!”

Toits rouges, coin d’un village, hiver, Côte de Saint-Denis, Pontoise
Landscape with Farmhouses and Palm Trees

“I sometimes have a horrible fear of turning up a canvas of mine. I’m always afraid of finding a monster in place of the precious jewels I thought I had put there!”

Un Carrefour à l’Hermitage, Pontoise
Bath Road, Chiswick

“It is absurd to look for perfection.”

A Cowherd at Valhermeil, Auvers-sur-Oise
Portrait of Paul Cézanne

“It is only by drawing often, drawing everything, drawing incessantly, that one fine day you discover to your surprise that you have rendered something in its true character.”

Landscape at Pontoise
Still Life, Apples and Pears in a Round Basket

“Observe that it is a great error to believe that all mediums of art are not closely tied to their time.”

The Woods at Marly
Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes

“When you do a thing with your whole soul and everything that is noble within you, you always find your counterpart.”

Allée dans une forêt (Road in a Forest)
Le grand noyer à l’Hermitage

“Work at the same time on sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis… Don’t be afraid of putting on colour… Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression.”

Two Young Peasant Women

Le Boulevard de Montmartre, in various seasons

Etchings, pastels, inks…

Self Portraits


Accompanied by

Frédéric Chopin

Nocturne No.2 In E Flat, Op.9 No.2

performed by

Maurizio Pollini

For more information on Pissarro:


Be Safe 🏡

30 replies »

  1. The Garden of Pontoise is phenomenal! Also adore Le Boulevard de Montmartre, in various seasons.
    That is a very rich encounter. Your music choice is perfect, Marina!
    Another prolific artist. Maybe it’s because they had no television, computers, etc. that day and night was art, art, art!
    I’ve always loved the Impressionist style.
    I think many of them may have had bad eyesight. In my 20’s I did a watercolour of a country scene. I had horrible vision, and couldn’t find my glasses. Nonetheless I painted what I saw. Later, when I found my glasses, I looked at my painting. It was quite good for an amateur, and it was Impressionist. That’s when I decided bad eyesight had something todo with the style.

    Sending love!!!
    ❦🎨 ❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨❦🎨

    • No tv, computers etc was a blessing to all those artists indeed! Can you imagine Van Gogh or Bach for example spending time on social media and tweeting? 🙄 I think that this is the worst time in history for artists (musicians, sculptors, painters etc). Not only they have to do everything by themselves (including socializing), they have to constantly find ways to stand out from an ocean of people (artists and not) .. so when does the artist actually create? Long conversation that I fear doesn’t lead to any positive conclusions, so…
      I hadn’t thought about bad eyesight and you’re right! I’d love to see that impressionist painting of yours!
      Thank you for taking a journey to his work with me. So happy you enjoyed it!
      Many many hugs and Happy Sunday!

      • Marina,
        Happy Sunday evening, where you are, and have a fab week ahead!
        I’m trying to finish my next Art Gown. I have disciplined myself not to open the computer, until 2 hours of sewing in the morning. It’s quite Zen actually! Now, if I could get my discipline to do 1/2 hour exercises everyday.
        Then the pandemic housework, cooking… let’s see, that leaves about 1 hour TOPS for the computer. My evenings are supposed to be for drawing.
        I enjoy all of your artists journeys.
        Much love!

  2. It surely sounds like he was a wonderful teacher. And quite right: “The whole world is beautiful, the art is in the seeing.” Such a treat seeing his art accompanied by this lovely music, Marina❣️ 🙏🏻

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