Camille Pissaro’s Spring
I’ve been dreaming about spring for so long… and I could actually say that it’s already here (at least looking at the calendar), yet we’ll have to wait a few more weeks till we can see some bigger changes – greener grass, the first wild flowers in the now still brown fields and birds, returning from their holidays in the hot countries. I’m getting impatient! No wonder the theme for the artwork that says it all this month is spring.
What would you choose? A warm landscape or a bright still-life with daffodils and tulips? Would it be easy to name just one painting?
I won’t torture you with long introductions – I went for Camille Pissaro’s “Orchard with Flowering Trees, Spring, Pontoise”. I know that this painting isn’t depicting March (at least not March in my country). Here we see events that will follow a bit later – the trees will be covered in blooms at the end of April, beginning of May, but does it matter? When I look at this painting I know it’s spring!
I love the colours and the whole scene, I guess it reminds me of my own garden (although we have no hills…). This landscape is static, yet it feels so alive – bursting with energy. Summing it up… I wish I was there! I can almost feel the fresh air and hear the noise that comes with the season – tweeting birds and buzzing bees.
Some information found on Wikipedia:
Camille Pissarro (10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903) was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.
A few interesting facts:
– Art critic Albert Wolf complained in his review – “try to make Pissarro understand that trees are not violet, that sky is not the color of fresh butter . . .”
– Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the “dean of the Impressionist painters”, not only because he was the oldest of the group, but also “by virtue of his wisdom and his balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality”.
– Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886.
– Renoir referred to Pissaro’s work as “revolutionary”.
– The American impressionist Mary Cassatt, who at one point lived in Paris to study art, and joined his Impressionist group, noted that he was “such a teacher that he could have taught the stones to draw correctly”.
– As a stylistic forerunner of Impressionism, he is today considered a “father figure not only to the Impressionists”, but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.