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Jacob Camille Pissarro
(1830-1903)

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Jacob Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), was a French Impressionist painter, whose friendship and support provided encouragement for many younger painters. 

France 2006. Camille Pissaro. "The Shepherdess" (or "Young Girl with Baguette") created 1881.

Pissarro was born in St Thomas, Virgin Islands (the former Danish West Indies), where his family, French and Jewish in origin, had settled. His nationality was thus Danish and remained so all his life. 
  • France 2006. Camille Pissaro. "The Shepherdess" (or "Young Girl with Baguette") created 1881. Issued in a booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps dedicated to the Impressionists. The stamp is a so-called NVI (No Value Indicated), and is permanently valid for domestic letters [within France] up to 20 grams. 

He received his early education at a boarding school near Paris, before returning to St. Thomas, where he spent much time sketching the picturesque port. He later left for Venezuela in the company of the Danish painter Fritz Melbye, and worked as an artist there for two years. In 1955, Pissaro settled in France, where he -- among others -- met Paul Gauguin and over time formed his close friendship with him. Paul Gauguin's marriage to the Danish woman Mette Gad, enabled Pissaro to maintain his relation with Denmark. 

At first associated with the Barbizon School, Pissarro subsequently joined the Impressionists and was represented in all their exhibitions. 

During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), he lived in England and made a study of English art, particularly the landscapes of J.M.W. Turner. 

  • Liberia 1969. "The Red Roofs". Oil on canvas. The painting is from Pissaro's first period with the Impressionists, but the exact year of creation is unknown. Belongs to Orsay Museum, Paris. 

Liberia 1969. Camille Pissaro. "Red Roofs".

For a time in the 1880s Pissarro, discouraged with his work, experimented with Pointillism; the new style, however, being unpopular with collectors and dealers, made him return to a freer Impressionist style. 

Romania 1974. Camille Pissaro. "Flowering Orchard". Romania 1974. Camille Pissaro. "Jeanne". Paraguay 1968. Camille Pissarro. "Winter Landscape".

A painter of sunshine and the scintillating play of light, Pissarro produced many quiet rural landscapes and river scenes; he also painted street scenes in Paris, Le Havre, and London. 

France 1981. Camille Pissarro. "The Path in Chou". Togo 1970. Camille Pissarro. "The Gardener". Monaco 1974. Camille Pissarro. "Entry to the Neighbours' Village".

He was an excellent teacher, counting among his pupils and associates Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne, his son Lucien Pissarro, and the American Impressionist Mary Cassatt. 

Pissarro was a prolific artist; many of his paintings, watercolours, and graphics are exhibited in the Luxembourg Gallery, Paris. 

  • Pissarro and Paul Gauguin often sat for each other, and this joint drawing is one of the results of their co-operation. 

His friendships with Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and others were vital for the establishing of the Impressionist group, as well as his international background was decisive for the admission of the American painter Mary Cassatt, to the Impressionist group. 

Sources and links:

Other Impressionist painters on this site (in alphabetical order). Those marked with an asterisk are represented on this page. 

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