Camille PISSARRO (French, 1830-1903) ✿

Camille Pissarro is one of the most important French artists of the 19th century. His name is closely linked to Impressionism, of which he was one of the main exponents. He was born in Saint-Thomas, Virgin Islands, to a French Jewish father, of Portuguese origin, and a Creole mother originally from the Danish Antilles. His father had him educated in Paris, but once Camille finished his studies, he had to return home, where, despite taking care of the family business and working as a salesman in his father's workshop, he began to show an interest in painting. Wanting to devote himself to drawing, he ran away from home with the Danish painter Melbye, settling in Venezuela. He began selling his first paintings in Nicaragua to pay for the trip that took him to Paris in 1855.
In Paris he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and then the Academie de Suisse coming into contact with painters such as Manet, Courbet and Corot. On the advice of the latter, Pissarro, he began to paint en plein air (in the open air). In 1859 he participated for the first time in the Salon with a landscape of Montmorency, later, however, he was more unfortunate: both in 1861 and in 1863 he was refused at the Salon. At that time he met and became friends with Cezanne and Guillaumin, with whom Pissarro, not accepting that he had been refused at the official Salon, decided to exhibit his paintings at the Salon des Refuses.
He exhibited at the Salon both in 1864 and in 1866, but the signs of a stylistic change were already noticed, in fact, the atmosphere is revitalized, the dark is replaced by color, up to an impressionist turn. In 1866 he left Paris for economic reasons and moved to Pontoise, the city from which Pissarro draws a lot of inspiration, in fact, it will be the subject of several of his paintings.
In 1872 Pissarro returned to Pointoise but in the following years, despite being one of the greatest promoters of the first Impressionist exhibition, he had many economic difficulties and was therefore helped by patrons and collectors such as Murar and Arosa. From 1881 Pissarro began to devote himself to the theme of peasants, which he will depict in various canvases.
In the following years an eye disease forced him to slow down his artistic activity and so it was that in 1891 he had a press mounted in his studio and dedicated himself to engraving. However, in the last years of his life, after being forced to flee to Belgium for his anarchist ideas, due to illness in his eyes he began to paint from his apartments, giving life to representations of glimpses of cities and landscapes seen. from above. From 1892 he returned to the Impressionist style, to which he remained substantially faithful until his death, which took place in Paris on November 13, 1903.

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