Camille Pissarro

(1830 - 1903)
Camille Pissarro The Marne at Chennevières About 1864 - 1865


Pissarro was slightly older than his fellow Impressionists. His dedication to painting and printmaking and his valuable encouragement and advice inspired young artists, including Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Pissarro, born in St.Thomas in the Virgin Islands, attended school in Paris, and settled there in 1855. His early landscapes reflected Corot and Courbet's influence. His association with Impressionism developed from a wish to paint modern life subjects as he saw them, capturing the changing effects of light. In the mid 1880s he experimented with the pointillism pioneered by Seurat and Signac. Pissarro alone contributed to all eight Impressionist exhibitions from 1874 until 1886.

Glossary terms

  • A French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It refers to the practice of painting a complete picture outside as apposed to a creating a preparatory sketch or study. The technique was developed during the mid 1800’s by Constable in Britain, in France by the Barbizon School painters such as Courbet and Corot and later by the Impressionist painters including Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Artists using the technique sought to capture the essence of natural light. In the second half of the nineteenth century the technique spread throughout much of Europe and into America.

  • An influential style of painting that originated in France in the 1870s with artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They were interested in capturing the changing effects of light, frequently exploring this through landscape scenes painted in the open air.

  • An offshoot of Impressionism in which light effects were subject to a greater methodical analysis and paintings were composed with greater formality. Artists associated with this movement include Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and Camille Pissarro