Camille Pissarro was one of the most influential members of the French Impressionist movement, and was the only artist to participate in all eight of the Impressionist exhibitions. Emile Zola, the great nineteenth century writer, described Pissarro and his work as follows; “A quick glance at his work is enough to make you understand that the man who created this was a straight, strong person, incapable of dishonesty, and a man who turns art into a pure eternal truth…A fine picture by this artist is an act of an honest man.”
Born on July 10, 1830, in Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies, Camille was sent to school in Paris, where very early on he displayed an extraordinary talent for drawing. He eventually returned to Paris in 1855, having convinced his parents of his determination to pursue a career as an artist. He studied at the Academia Suisse with Monet, where he also met Cézanne, Manet and Renoir.
In 1872 Pissarro moved to Pontoise and remained there for ten years. Gauguin was among the many artists to visit Camille there, and Cézanne, who lived nearby, came for long periods to work and learn. In his last years Camille divided his time between the cities of Paris, Rouen and Le Havre and his home in Eragny.
Camille Pissarro was the most prolific printmaker among the Impressionists, however, only five etchings were ever published in his lifetime. Most of his etchings were made for his own satisfaction, as he was indifferent to the commercial value of printmaking. Being difficult to please, he often scraped his plates to start his work afresh, thus producing proofs in numerous states to see how the work was progressing. Pisarro’s art is universal, and he always gives a forcible rendering of humanity in close intimacy with its environment.
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." - Camille Pissarro
Paulemile Pissarro, Camille’s youngest son, was born in Eragny in 1884. His godfather, Claude Monet, became his teacher and close friend, particularly after Camille’s death in 1903.
Paulemile first exhibited at the Salon des Independents in 1905 and was established as a Post Impressionist by 1920. During that period, he shared a studio with Kees Van Dongen and developed a close friendship with Maurice de Vlaminck. By the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, he reached the peak of his artistic development, arriving at the individual style for which he is now best known. Paulemile’s love of landscape painting was greatly inspired by the Calvados region of France and his home in Clecy, where he remained until his death.
With the advent of his first one-man show in the United States in 1967, Paulemile enjoyed widespread recognition that rivaled his success in Europe. Paulemile’s paintings, since his death in 1972, have continued to be exhibited worldwide and are included in important public and private collections.
Camille Pissarro. Baigneuses (Le Jour).
1895. Original zinc plate lithograph printed in black ink on blue tinted Ingres d'Arches laid paper. Hand signed in pencil on the mount just below the image lower right C. Pissarro. Lifetime impression of the only state of this extremely rare lithograph. From the edition of 20, annotated "no. 14" on the mount just below the image lower left. No posthumous impressions. Titled on the mount lower center "Baigneuses (Le Jour)". 10 3/8 x 14 3/16".
Camille Pissarro. Paysanne au Puits (Peasant Woman at the Well).
1890. Charcoal drawing on translucent tissue weight tracing paper. Signed with the artist's monogram stamp in grey ink lower right. Accompanied by authenticating letter from Dr. Joachim Pissarro. 12 7/16 x 9 1/2".