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Pissarro Paintings

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Initially Pissarro was attracted to the Barbizon school and the landscape works of Corot and began painting and sketching in small towns and villages near Paris along the Seine. In 1859 he was accepted into the Salon and participated in their shows. Though he exhibited his work at the Salon the public was not as taken with his work and financial difficulties began as no one bought his paintings. Pissarro became resistant to the views of the Salon and was quickly drawn to artists such as Edouard Manet, whose works did not meet the accepted painting styles of the day.

In the 1860s Pissarro met young artists Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir whose friendships and artistic styles helped to encourage the artist. In the early 1870s Pissarro lightened his use of color and began to use bright strokes of color which created radiant effects. Pissarro helped to develop the Impressionist style with his loose brushwork and attention to reflected light. He saw light as an extremely important element in painting, one that could reach to one’s emotions.

After frustration with the Salon, Pissarro helped to organize an independent Impressionist exhibition in 1874. As leader of the Impressionist group Pissarro exhibited paintings at all 8 exhibitions from 1874 – 1886.

By 1880, Pissarro was using a new technique of applying a thick coat of paint in small crosshatched strokes. After meeting Georges Seurat and Paul Signac he, for a short time, implemented a Neo-Impressionist method using distinct strokes of unmixed color that were intensely applied to form a web of color. The Divisionist/ Pointillist style was short lived in Pissarro’s work and he returned to his Impressionistic style.

After years of unashamedly pursuing his freedom to experiment with his work Pissarro finally, at the age of 74, began to gain the artistic respect that he had sought after. Up and coming artists admired his work and his paintings began to be sold at auction for high prices.