Marshalltown Arts & Civic Center

Camille Pissarro

Born in the Danish West Indies, Camille Pissarro studied painting in Paris and, after working for a while at other professions, returned full-time to his art. Among the avant-garde group known as the Impressionists, Camille Pissarro was perhaps the most beloved. Equally admired for his talent as well as his characteristic gentle nature, Pissarro was an inspiration to many and a source of encouragement and support to others. Described by Paul Cezanne as “humble and colossal,” he was hailed by Mary Cassatt as a gifted teacher that “could have taught stones to draw.”

Pissarro is noted for his firm control of the painting medium and is credited with founding “plein air” (“out of door”) painting in 1855. Recognizing and legitimizing new trends that even his peers questioned, Pissarro was also a visionary. He was among the first established artists to comprehend the genius of Cezanne, Gaugin, Van Gogh, and Rousseau and confidently supported and promoted the work of these then unknown painters.

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