Sunday, July 10, 2016
Happy Birthday Camille Pissarro
July 10, 1830. Camille Pissarro (10 July 1830 - 13 November 1903) was a 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.
Pissarro is called the father of Impressionism; he exhibited paintings in all eight Impressionist exhibitions and mentored a number of painters, including Cezanne. But he was an outsider, born to a Sephardic Jewish family in St. Thomas when t was a colony of Denmark. Pissarro kept his Danish citizenship always, even though he lived most of his adult life in France. Pissarro married a non-Jewish woman and they had eight children; he was dedicated to his family. His politics and his philosophy were important as well: he was an idealist and an anarchist, believing that government and hierarchies are unnecessary and that all people are equal.
Pissarro was the only Impressionist who made figure paintings in which the worker is the central motif. Pissarro’s lifelong interest in the human condition is unique among Impressionist landscape painters. From his early years in the Caribbean and Venezuela until his death, he produced a vast oeuvre of drawings, paintings and prints dedicated to the human figure. He was also a committed reader of radical social, political and economic theory. His profound knowledge of social philosophy, which informs much of his art, far exceeded that of any other significant painter of the period.
Bio at Wiki here