Saint-Thomas Island (Virgin Islands) 1830 - Paris 1903
Camille Pissarro, was born in 1830 in St. Thomas (Virgin Islands). He studied in Paris from 1842 to 1847. After a brief return to the West Indies and a trip to Venezuela with the painter Fritz Melbye in 1853, he decided to devote himself to drawing and painting and went to study in Paris, where he arrived in 1855, at the Universal Exhibition.
He discovered Courbet, Ingres and Corot especially, who he met. Pissarro worked successively in the workshop of Antoine Melbye, at the School of Fine Arts and at the Swiss Academy where he met Monet, and some of the future Impressionists. Then, he painted tropical landscapes but also open air studies around Paris.
His early landscapes showed Corot's influence but also Courbet's.
He settled in Pontoise in 1866, then in Louveciennes in 1869 and represented landscapes with a predilection for roads : Coach at Louveciennes (1870) or Road in Louveciennes (1872) which showed on the foreground some characters, so rare in his work.
During the War of 1870, he fled to London, where he met Monet and made the acquaintance of Durand-Ruel, who bought him two canvases. He discovered the English landscape and Constable.
Back in France, he settled in Pontoise, also working in Osny and Auvers, and lived a fruitful period. He pursued the same research as his Impressionist friends and participated in all their demonstrations from 1874. Often working with Cezanne he would push him to work outside.
Late in 1885 Pissarro began painting pointillist works, after meeting with Seurat and Signac. These paintings did not find any buyers and execution process was too slow, so Pissarro had to abandon divisionism in 1890.
In 1892, a retrospective dedicated to him at Durand-Ruel?s had a great success. At that time and until the end of his life, he devoted himself to series of the same motif, mostly urban. His views of Paris remained the most important works. In an effort to vary the point of views and moments he captured landscapes, Pissarro applied a range of subtle and rich color. He died November 13 th 1903 in Paris.