Art is divine

Atypical Poet

by Alessandra Cenna

KUNSTMUSEUM 

BASEL

September 4, 2021 - January 23, 2022

 

CAMILLE PISSARRO

The Modernity Workshop

The cabbage fields, Pontoise

Camille Pissarro 1873

Oil on canvas HxB: 60 x 80 cm

Creditline: Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Chestnut trees in Osny

Camille Pissarro 1883

Creditline: Kunstmuseum Basel- Geschenk einiger Kunstfreunde, mit

einem Beitrag der Basler Regierung erworben

Photo Credit: Kunstmuseum Basel Martin P. Bühler

A corner of the Hermitage, Pontoise

Camille Pissarro 1878 Oil on canvas HxW: 54.6 x 65 cm

Inv. Nr .: Inv. 871

Creditline: Kunstmuseum Basel- Geschenk einiger Kunstfreunde, mit

einem Beitrag der Basler Regierung erworben

Photo Credit: Kunstmuseum Basel Martin P. Bühler

The gardener

Camille Pissarro 1899

Oil on canvas 92.5 x 65 cm

Creditline: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, erworben 1901, Tausch 1937,

Leihgabe 1962 Freunde der Staatsgalerie

Photo Credit: © Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

 

 

 

 

 

This fall, the Kunstmuseum Basel is dedicating a vast exhibition of more than 180 works to Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) entitled “L’Atelier de la Modernité”, his first retrospective in Switzerland in over 60 years.

 

Patriarch of the Impressionists, free thinker and revealer of talents, friend of and mentor to his contemporaries, Pissarro is too often relegated to the background of art history.

Born in the West Indies in the Danish colony of "Charlotte Amélie", now the "United States Virgin Islands", Pissarro was the eldest son of a family of Jewish merchants settled on the Island of Saint Thomas.

 

His father was of Portuguese origin but born in Bordeaux and his mother was Creole. The synagogue initially refused to recognize their union because they were aunt and nephew by marriage. Their union would not be official until seven years later.

At the age of twelve, Pissarro left for France to study in Sanary near Paris where his talents as a designer were encouraged. However, he returned to work in the family business but very quickly this bourgeois life did not suit him. He decides to leave for Caracas and this trip with his Danish painter friend Fritz Melbye will mark a definitive turning point in his life.


The Etang de Montfoucault, winter effect

Camille Pissarro 1874

Creditline: Kunstmuseum Basel- Geschenk einiger Kunstfreunde, mit

einem Beitrag der Basler Regierung erworben

Photo Credit: Kunstmuseum Basel Martin P. Bühler

Woman with green headscarf

Camille Pissarro 1893

Oil on canvas 65.5 x 54.5 cm

Paris, Orsay museum, Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Orsay museum) - © Franck Raux

 

 

At the age of twenty-five, he settled permanently in Paris and made friends with the greatest artists of his time. He will never return to the Americas.
The only painter to participate in all the Impressionist exhibitions from 1874 to 1886, he questioned the principles of academic painting. Pissarro is as interested in nature, in its landscapes as in human figures, and enjoys painting the people of the countryside, the world of peasants and their labors. He likes the canvases of Millet, Courbet and Corot. He married a daughter of a winegrower from Burgundy who was a servant for his family and they would cut off their support following this union, which was considered a misalliance.
Pissarro likes to paint outdoors and he will do it alongside Cézanne. Gauguin will buy him paintings and will also join him in Pontoise. Claude Monet, with whom he will be in exile in London during the war with Prussia, will be the godfather of his son and it is he who will lend him the money to buy his last home "La Pommeraie".
His atypical career populated by wonderful encounters made Pissarro marginal even if, for a long time, his artistic choices made him more popular than Degas or Renoir.

Snow effect at the Hermitage

Camille Pissarro 1875

Creditline: Kunstmuseum Basel- Geschenk einiger Kunstfreunde, mit

einem Beitrag der Basler Regierung erworben

Photo Credit: Kunstmuseum Basel Martin P. Bühler

Poor financially but rich in heart, this unique artist had a gift for friendship and this generosity vibrates in his paintings by the force of his soul. This polyglot, who mastered French, English and Spanish, was more of an anarchist in thought than in action.

 

He expressed his difference in three primary colors and their immediate drifts, thus creating his own light.

Prolific, he produced more than 1,500 works. "Un coin de l'Hermitage", a painting painted in Pontoise in 1878, was the first impressionist painting to enter the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel, the Baloise public collection in 1912.

 

 

 

The Swiss city has since strengthened its ties with Camille Pissarro and this exhibition is a vibrant tribute to this great painter who so brilliantly influenced modern art with his poetic softness and strength of character.

 

CAMILLE PISSARRO

THE KUNSTMUSEUM

MODERNITY WORKSHOP - BASEL - SWITZERLAND

FROM 04 SEPTEMBER 2021 TO 23 JANUARY 2022 WWW.KUNSTMUSEUMBASEL.CH

Selfportrait

Camille Pissarro 1903

Tate Londres © Tate images


Louveciennes, Sunken path

Camille Pissarro 1872

Oil on canvas 46 x 55 cm

Creditline: Museum Folkwang Essen