Camille Pissarro, thanks to his excellent spiritual qualities, was able to unite completely different young artists who created a new trend.
The influence of Camille Pissarro on the art of the 19th century is so great that his mark was left in the history of post-impressionism. Paul Cezanne called this artist his second father, and Vincent van Gogh, following his advice, completely changed his attitude to color.
Biography of Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro was born on one of the Virgin Islands, which then belonged to the Danish kingdom. He was the third son in a wealthy family that sold bread and pastries. His parents sent him to study at a boarding school in the suburbs of Paris for five years. Even then, the future artist was passionate about drawing and often visited the Louvre.
When Camille Pissarro returned home, he worked in his father’s shop, but he painted every free minute. Over time, he met the Danish landscape painter Fritz Melby and, under his guidance, painted the first real paintings. Only in 1855 did the young Pissarro manage to convince his father that painting was his vocation, and he left for Paris to receive an education. It took about 10 years to comprehend the secrets of artistic skill and develop his own style.
Soon there were like-minded people of a younger age, who also preferred living realistic painting to the conservative canons of academism.
In 1860, the artist met his future wife, Julie Vellay, with whom he lived for 30 years. Most of this time, a large family spent in poverty and worries, but Camille Pissarro did not lose heart and looked to the future with constant optimism.
In the official Salon, Pissarro’s paintings were received coolly. But over time, fame came to him and a circle of admirers appeared. They wrote about the artist that he “draws the smell of the earth.”
After returning, the artist found that almost all of his paintings, created over 20 years, were destroyed by soldiers. Of the one and a half thousand canvases, only 40 survived. This would have been a blow to anyone, but Pissarro only set to work again with redoubled energy. The most fruitful years of his work have come. In 1873, with his active participation, 15 young artists united, and a year later the first exhibition of the Impressionists took place.
Accustomed to the traditions of academism, critics were horrified when they saw the paintings of young artists, and found in them “gross mistakes”: too ordinary and even vulgar plots; careless and sketchy manner of execution; strange choice of shades and colored shadows.
The art historian Albert Wolff wrote about Camille Pissarro: “it is necessary to explain to this artist that the trees are not purple, and the sky is not painted in the color of fresh oil.” But already the second exhibition was successful, and many paintings found buyers.
Pissarro participated in all the expositions of the Impressionists, and at the last he presented works in the technique of pointillism. In 1884, the young Van Gogh stayed with him, to whom the artist conveyed the ideas of expressing light and color.
In his declining years, Pissarro continued to paint landscapes in the style of impressionism, which were very popular and ended up in the museum during the author’s lifetime. When an eye disease made it difficult to work in the open air, the artist began to paint views from the windows of his house and city hotels. Camille Pissarro died in Paris at the age of 73. Several of his sons and a daughter followed in their father’s footsteps. Currently, the artist’s great-grandson works as a curator at the MoMA Museum in New York.