Talk: Pissarro: the Father of Impressionism

Date(s) - 14th Feb 2022

St Philip & St James Church


Camille Pissarro certainly rivals Claude Monet apropos of the epithet ‘the father of Impressionism,’ given he was the only painter to exhibit in all eight Impressionist exhibitions, which he accordingly financed and organised to boot! Growing up on the Caribbean island of St Thomas, he believed that men, women and children were equally valuable. Politically, he was instinctively drawn to anarchism, not as the destruction of government, but as the creation of an egalitarian society which could be built gradually through the education of future generations about equality and liberal political theories. In his artworks, Pissarro depicted peasants and their daily lives much in the way Jean-François Millet had done, placing them on the same par as the upper echelons of society by making them appear dignified and important.

Pissarro’s temporary exile to London during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) led to a formative alliance with the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who became the main distributor of Impressionist art and who built their artistic networks in London. Of seminal importance also is the period spent in Pontoise during the mid 1870s – arguably Pissarro’s most Impressionist phase. However, dubbed ‘a nervous eclectic’ by Bernard Denvir, he sojourned into the fashionable Pointilliste mode of painting, having been introduced to the neo-Impressionist mode of working by his son Lucien. His most Divisionist works were executed at Eragny where the artist was living at the time. His later works capture the urban vistas of Haussmann’s Parisian boulevards, replete with scurrying figures representing a new social milieu.

This talk, whilst we are sure will be enjoyable in its own right, will be a good introduction to our visit to Oxford in March, when we will visit the exhibition of the same name at the Ashmolean.

Cost £10 to include tea or coffee  TIme: 1:30pm

If you have any questions please phone Alison on 01242 519413.

Please book using one of the following options:

  • On-line bookings with a debit or credit card can be made using the form below. Alternatively you may reserve your place, select the ‘off-line’ payment option and pay by bank transfer or cheque.
  • Bank transfer – please email and wait for confirmation that places are available before arranging your bank transfer.
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Places are not confirmed until payment is received.

Bank transfers should be made to Friends of The Wilson (or as much of that as the bank will accept) Sort Code 30-91-87 Account 00005816. The reference must include your surname plus as much of the event title as will fit, for example SMITH Pissarro.

Please make cheques payable to Friends of The Wilson and send with a SAE or clearly written email address to Mrs Alison Pascoe, 77 Naunton Lane, Cheltenham, GL53 7AZ.


Bookings are now closed for this event.