Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903)

From Wikipedia:

“…After the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, having only Danish nationality and being unable to join the army, he moved his family to Norwood, then a village on the edge of London. However, his style of painting, which was a forerunner of what was later called “Impressionism”, did not do well. He wrote to his friend, Théodore Duret, that “my painting doesn’t catch on, not at all …”

Pissarro met the Paris art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, in London, who became the dealer who helped sell his art for most of his life. Durand-Ruel put him in touch with Monet who was likewise in London during this period.

Through the paintings Pissarro completed at this time, he records Sydenham and the Norwoods at a time when they were just recently connected by railways, but prior to the expansion of suburbia. One of the largest of these paintings is a view of St. Bartholomew’s Church at Lawrie Park Avenue, commonly known as The Avenue, Sydenham, in the collection of the National Gallery in London. Twelve oil paintings date from his stay in Upper Norwood and are listed and illustrated in the catalogue raisonné prepared jointly by his fifth child Ludovic-Rodolphe Pissarro and Lionello Venturi and published in 1939. These paintings include Norwood Under the Snow, and Lordship Lane Station, views of The Crystal Palace relocated from Hyde Park, Dulwich College, Sydenham Hill, All Saints Church Upper Norwood, and a lost painting of St. Stephen’s Church.

Returning to France, Pissarro lived in Pontoise from 1872 to 1884. He discovered that of the 1,500 paintings he had done over 20 years, which he was forced to leave behind when he moved to London, only 40 remained. The rest had been damaged or destroyed by the soldiers, who often used them as floor mats outside in the mud to keep their boots clean.

In 1890 he again visited England and painted some ten scenes of central London. He came back again in 1892, painting in Kew Gardens and Kew Green.”

From: Pissarro in West London: Kew, Chiswick and Richmond (1997) by Nicholas Reed:

“From May to August 1892, Camille and two of his sons, Lucien and Georges, stayed at Kew, in a flat above a bakery, at no 1 Gloucester Terrace (pictured). This was at the corner of Kew Green and Gloucester Road…

While here, Camille painted eight views of Kew Gardens, and three of Kew Green. The three of the Green all turn out to have been painted from the same spot, the balcony above the bakery, looking alternately south, north and west.”

From the website of the Stern Pissarro Gallery:


The views of Kew by Camille Pissarro, both on loan from private collections, include a view of St Anne’s church painted in June 1892 during  Pissarro’s third visit to England at the age of 62.  Pissarro  stayed nearby at Gloucester  Terrace with the purpose of painting Kew without having to commute from London. Interestingly, despite the Impressionist’s tendency to paint en plein air,  Pissarro  completed these indoors through his apartment window to avoid the summer rain.  Kew Green  was a stark contrast to the more formal French gardens where in many, walking on the grass was not allowed. Amongst his contemporaries,  Pissarro’s Kew Garden series was highly regarded, in particular, his painting of rhododendrons.”

 From Wikipedia:

“…In 1897…he produced several oils described as being of Bedford Park, Chiswick, but in fact all being of the nearby Stamford Brook area except for one of Bath Road, which runs from Stamford Brook along the south edge of Bedford Park.

In his older age Pissarro suffered from a recurring eye infection that prevented him from working outdoors except in warm weather. As a result of this disability, he began painting outdoor scenes while sitting by the window of hotel rooms. He often chose hotel rooms on upper levels to get a broader view. He moved around northern France and painted from hotels in Rouen, Paris, Le Havre and Dieppe. On his visits to London, he would do the same.

Pissarro died in Paris on 13 November 1903 and was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.”

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