Pissarro – By Joachim Pissarro and Richard Brettell

“Humble and colossal,” as his friend Cézanne described him, Camille Pissarro is at once the most important and the least familiar of the leading Impressionist painters. As a mentor to that group, which he helped to convene, Pissarro was responsible for drafting the statutes of the artists’ cooperative that launched the famous Impressionist exhibitions, which were the first to take art outside the academic confines of Paris’ salon exhibitions; he was also the only painter to participate in all eight of those landmark shows, from 1874 to 1886, and was the first painter to develop and sustain the plein air practice for which the Impressionists are famed. This volume presents Pissarro as one of the great pioneers of modern art, appraising his career through five thematic and chronological chapters that offer a tour of his preferred landscapes and cities: “On the Road to Impressionism,” “Louveciennes-London-Louveciennes 1869-72,” “Pontoise Revisited 1872-82,” “Eragny Landscapes 1884-1903” and “City Views.” It includes essays by some of the most renowned Pissarro scholars: Richard R. Brettell, who writes on the artist’s involvement with anarchism; Joachim Pissarro (one of the authors of the Pissarro catalogue raisonné) on Monet and Pissarro’s relationship in the 1890s; and Guillermo Solana on the motif of the road in Pissarro.
Born on the island of Saint Thomas in the Antilles into a wealthy family of Jewish origin, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) studied painting in Paris and Venezuela. He met Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley in 1859. Pissarro acted as pater familias not only to the Impressionist group, but also to the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.