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Monday, July 13, 2020

Camille Pissarro and brushstrokes

 

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Camille Pissarro

 

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was a Danish-French painter best known for pioneering contributions to impressionism. Wikipedia says,

 

"In 1873, he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, becoming the 'pivotal' figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the 'dean of the Impressionist painters'." (Wikipedia: Camille Pissarro, 8.19.21 UTC 11:02)

 

Artist Paul Gauguin said,

 

"If we observe the totality of Pissarro's works, we find there, despite the fluctuations, not only an extreme artistic will which never lies, but what is more, an essentially intuitive pure-bred art." (Racontars d'un Rapin, 1902

 

The rest of this post is some quotes from Pissarro.

 

Impressionism

 

"I am more than ever in favor of taking one's impression from memory; it is less the actual thing - vulgarity disappears, leaving only an aura of truth glimpsed, sensed." (Letter to Lucien Pissarro, 1892)

 

"Work at the same time upon water, sky, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis and unceasingly rework until you have got it. Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression." (Quoted in Classic C├ęzanne by Maloon and Gundert)

 

"Precise drawing is dry and hampers the impression of the whole, it destroys all sensations. Do not define too closely the outlines of things; it is the brushstroke of the right value and color which should produce the drawing." (Quoted in History of Impressionism by John Rewald)

 

Painting

 

"The ones [compliments] I value most came from Edgar Degas who said he was happy to see my work becoming more and more pure. The etcher Bracquemond, a pupil of Ingres, said - prossibly he meant what he said - that my works show increasing strength." (Letter to Lucien Pissarro, 1883)

 

"I am working with fury and I have finally discovered the right execution, the search for which has tormented me for a year. I am pretty sure I have it now, all I need is to spend this coming autumn in Rouen or in some other place where I can find striking motifs." (Letter to Lucien Pissarro, 1884)

 

Unity

 

"I told [Renoir] that as far as we were concerned, the search for unity should be the aim of every intelligent artist." (Letter to Lucien Pissarro, 1887)