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Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)

Paysannes ramassant de l'herbe

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Pissarro, C.
Paysannes ramassant de l'herbe
signed and dated 'C. Pissarro 83' (lower right)
gouache on paper laid down by the artist on board
10 x 9 in. (27.3 x 23.4 cm.)
Painted in 1883
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris.
L. R. Pissarro and L. Venturi, Camille Pissarro son art--son oeuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, p. 273, no. 1385 (illustrated, vol. II, pl. 270).
Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Camille Pissarro, February 1892, no. 64.

Lot Essay

During the 1870s, the first decade of Impressionism, most of the artists in this group included figures as an integral component in their larger landscape compositions. While incidental to the scene, like a passersby captured in the moment, figures served to remind the viewer of the human scale of the artist's conception, and reflect a gentle equilibrium between human society and its natural environment.

During the early 1880s, Monet began to eliminate figures from his landscapes, while at the same time Pissarro began to make the figure the focus of his paintings. Pissarro contributed thirty pictures to the Seventh Impressionist Exhibition of 1882; most of them show his new preoccupation with the figure. In this way his work drew closer to that of Degas and Renoir than to the painting of Monet or Sisley.

During this period Pissarro's "landscape drawings are often reduced to formulas, whilst there is a proliferation of powerful figure studies made from life and from posed models. In these studies Pissarro explores a variety of postures and activities. The rhythmical outlines, frequently redrawn, evince his obvious pleasure in the rounded forms of the human figure" (C. Lloyd, Pissarro, New York, 1981, p. 94).

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