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Camille Pissarro

Born: Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, 10 July 1830
Died: Paris, 13 November 1903
Nationality: French

bourgeois, child of shopkeepers


largely self-taught; with Fritz Melbye; Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1856, Paris); Académie Suisse (1859, Paris)


Travels:  Venezuela (1854); London (1870); Belgium (1894)

1854 – settles in Caracas with Fritz Melbye

1855 – settles in Paris; shares studio with Melbye and David Jacobsen

1859 – meets Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, and Armand Guillaumin; begins submitting paintings to Paris Salon; moves to Louveciennes

1863 – joins Société des Aquafortistes (Society of Etchers)

1870 –Salon juries begin rejecting submissions

1874 – helps organize First Impressionist exhibition; participates in all eight Impressionist exhibitions (1874-86)

1880s – produces prints with Edgar Degas; meets Paul Signac and Georges Seurat, style begins to show Neo-Impressionist influence; exhibits with Les XX (Brussels)


Venezuela (1854); London (1870); Belgium (1894)

Dealers and Collectors

Paul Durand-Ruel, Georges Petit, Goupil-Boussod & Valadon, Antonin Personnaz, Dr. Georges Viau, Etienne Moreau-Nelaton

Important Artworks: 

Hoar Frost, the old Road to Ennery, Pontoise, 1873 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris)

The Bell Tower of Bazincourt, 1885 (St Louis Art Museum)

Washerwoman at Eragny, 1893 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 1897 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne)


Rachael Ziady DeLue comments on the lack of research on Pissarro’s relationship to Emile Zola:

“The relation between [Emile] Zola and Pissarro has been remarked in several major studies of the artist but has yet to be explored in depth. Zola dedicates large portions of his earliest review of the Salon to the artist, and what he has to say about him is nothing short of relevatory. Pissarro met Zola in 1863 through Cèzanne and attended the writer’s Thursday evening gatherings beginning in 1866. During those years, Pissarro, along with his soon-to-be Impressionist colleagues Monet and Sisley, made regular visits to Manet’s studio in the Batignolles as well as to that shared by Frédéric Bazille and Auguste Renoir, where he often encountered the critic. Zola’s writing on Pissarro is insightful, even inspired; as early as 1866, he understood what Pissarro wanted to do with his painting.”

Rachael Ziady DeLue, “Pissarro, Landscape, Vision, and Tradition,” The Art Bulletin, vol. 80, no. 4 (December 1998): 720.