Liberal Arts Blog — Camille Pissarro (1830–1903): “He Was a Father to Me” (Cezanne)
Liberal Arts Blog — Friday is the Joy of Art, Architecture, Design, Film, and All Things Visual Day
Today’s Topic: Camille Pissarro (1830–1903) “He Was a Father to Me” (Cezanne)
I always liked his paintings, but knew nothing about him. Today, I decided to do a little digging and learn more. A few tidbits follow. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE OLDEST OF THE IMPRESSIONISTS — and, perhaps, the gentlest
1. “He was a father to me, A man to consult, a little like the Good Lord.” (Cezanne)
2. For Mary Cassatt, he was a great teacher “who could have taught the stones to draw correctly.”
3. He was born on the island of St. Thomas (then Danish). His father was Portuguese-Jewish and his mother French-Jewish. The painting above is a scene from St. Thomas: “Two Women Chatting by the Sea” (1856)
NB: Under the influence of Danish marine painter Fritz Melbye he took up painting full time, lived in Venezuela for two years, and then moved to Paris (where he had studied art as an adolescent at the Savary Academy). There he came under the influence of Corot (1796–1875) and Courbet (1819–1877).
RUE ST. HONORE, L’APRES MIDI, EFFET DE PLUIE (1897)
1. During the Franco Prussian War (1870–1871) he lived in exile in London and when he returned to Paris he found that only 40 of his 1500 paintings he had left behind remained.
2. “Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work in all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886.”
3. “He acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin, and Van Gogh.”
LANDSCAPE AT PONTOISE (1874)
1. Gauguin: “He was one of my masters.”
2. Caribbean author and scholar Derek Walcott based his book-length poem, Tiepolo’s Hound (2000) on Pissarro’s life.
3. Pissarro is buried in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, “the most visited necropolis in the world” which also has the graves of Chopin, Moliere, Piaf, Delacroix….
FOOTNOTE — A self portrait (1903)
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