Camille Pissarro: Impressionist Icon
A Collection of Master Prints
Left, Lot 257: Paysage à l'Hermitage (Pontoise), drypoint, 1880. Sold for $25,000.
Right, Lot 268: Marché à Pontoise, lithograph, 1895. Sold for $7,000.
Often called the “father of Impressionism,” Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was one of the earliest modern artists to emphasize what would become the tenets of Impressionism: a focus on light and quotidian scenes, quick, thick brushstrokes and bright colors.
Above, Lot 315: From a group of five color drypoints, circa 1895, all "bon à tirer" proofs printed in 1930 by Alfred Porcabeuf from the original plates under direction of the artist's estate. Sold for $20,000.
The collection of prints was at auction November 3 alongside Old Master Through Modern Prints, and included more than 60 different etchings, aquatints, drypoints and lithographs, most of which were printed by the artist himself in very few impressions. The selection boasts an array of examples that display how Pissarro was able to translate a fleeting moment into glowing experiments in lithography and intaglio work.
In the 1860s, when he was in his early 30s and recently arrived in Paris via his birthplace in Saint Thomas, West Indies, Pissarro began to experiment with printmaking. The process, which necessarily takes time, would seem to contradict the Impressionist credo of capturing a single moment as it took place.
Left, Lot 292: Rue Saint-Romain, à Rouen, 1ère planche, lithograph, 1896. Sold for $30,000.
Lot 253: Chemin sous bois à Pontoise, aquatint and etching, 1879. Sold for $40,000.
Pissarro was the only one of the group to repeatedly translate his landscape paintings into print form and to successfully embody Impressionist ideals in his graphic work. From his home in Pontoise, a village to the immediate northwest of Paris, and later in Eragny from the mid-1880s onward, he recorded the lives of the working class. He presented them with strength and dignity, celebrating, in the true Impressionist spirit, the ordinary beauty around him.
Lot 255: Foire de Saint-Martin à Pontoise, drypoint and aquatint, 1879. Sold for $18,750.
For more information on this collection, contact a Specialist in the Prints & Drawings department.
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