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Pissarro Drawings

Pissarro showed a talent for drawing at a young age and began to visit the Louvre. While in St. Thomas he sketched at the harbor. During his time in Venezuela with Melbye he worked on sketches portraying life on the streets, recording the behavior of the peasants and townspeople. He filled sketchbooks with pencil and charcoal drawings of ordinary daily scenes. These early sketches show indications of his mature work, direct, honest, and descriptive. His later drawings show less detail than his earlier drawings. In his later sketches we see a strong architectural line that shows strength and simplicity.

Pissarro worked mainly from models in a studio which he posed to look like people he had viewed in real life. He drew multiple mock-ups before completing a painting. Pissarro’s drawings usually include something in the background, trees or buildings for example. Most of the drawings point us to more completed works. The finished works follow the same lines of that of the drawings. It is believed that Pissarro completed numerous ink and pencil sketches and signed them Pizzarro. This routine of sketching a picture before painting it has left us over 2,000 drawings to delve into. He created more drawings than any of his contemporaries. The multiple drawings also show us that Pissarro’s art was anything but spontaneous.