CAMILLE PISSARRO BETWEEN IMPRESSIONISM AND REALISM: THE TEMPORALITIES OF WORK AND REST
Camille Pissarro, Impressionism, Realism
Degree Awarded: M.A. Art. American University Camille Pissarro has long been associated with the Impressionist movement. However, while his paintings of the 1870s and early 1880s employed the “sketchy” brushwork that typified Impressionism, he by and large did not choose to represent subjects drawn from modern, urban life, as did his Impressionist peers. Instead, while living in the small town of Pontoise, Pissarro repeatedly depicted rural agricultural laborers, an un-modern, or even anti-modern subject. These images of peasants typify the Realist school of painting, which originated around mid-century but continued to depict rural subjects through the 1870s and 80 and thus coexisted with Impressionism. As Marnin Young has shown, Realist painters of this later generation often chose motifs that exemplified the “slow time” associated with life in the countryside. I argue that Pissarro’s paintings of agricultural workers combine Impressionist instantaneity and ephemerality with Realist subjects that connote the “slow time” of rural France. In so doing, I complicate our understanding of Pissarro’s relationship to the Impressionist movement.