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Camille Pissaro’s Spring

March 5, 2013

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.


Camille Pissaro’s “Orchard with Flowering Trees, Spring, Pontoise” 1877

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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2013 6:36 pm

    Lovely choice, K. I wish I were there as well. Though we did have our first srping-ish day here in northern Holland today. Bliss.

  2. March 5, 2013 7:01 pm

    Thank you, Sarah. We’ve also had more sun this week, which works wonderfully – I think I even get more done, when I’m in a good mood. Lets hope the weather keeps improving and we can spend more and more time outside.

  3. March 5, 2013 7:52 pm

    15 degrees here in Buckinghamshire this afternoon. Crocuses (unsure if I spelt that right) are out and daffodils starting too. It was however -3 degrees when I woke up at 06:30!!

    • March 6, 2013 8:18 pm

      +15C!? That’s quite warm, no wonder the flowers are out, yet the temperature fluctuations are impressive (I wouldn’t think it’s possible to get from -3C to +15C in a single day!).

      We’re still stuck with +3C, but they say that it will be back to “minuses” during the weekend… I’m quite a lot north to Buckinghamshire and far far away from the Gulf stream.

      • March 6, 2013 9:09 pm

        That is some of the freaky weather we have seen lately. You’re right though I guess we do get a slightly better deal with the weather down here. How far north are you? If you are across the boarder you must be pretty cold!

  4. March 6, 2013 9:25 am

    Snow drops are everywhere now, and some crocuses too, here in Suffolk. It has even been sunny for the last two days!

  5. March 6, 2013 1:25 pm

    It is mild here in our terms.. not spring or summer yet.. but no doubt a picture like that can warm us all. Good choice and I know I am not an art critic.. but it is clearly what I see on the trees outside my windows… OK maybe one stage behind.. After all trees can also get confused by weather changes too.

    • March 6, 2013 8:28 pm

      Thank you for leaving a comment and I’m really glad that you liked my choice. I’m a bit jealous that it’s a lot warmer where you are… I think we can say that all of us are ready for more sun (judging by the amount of comments I’ve had on this post).

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