Camille Pissarro had a unique and lifelong interest in the human figure. From his earliest years in the Caribbean and Venezuela until his death in Paris in 1903, Pissarro drew, painted, and made prints featuring human subjects from every walk of life, which outnumber the figural works of his colleagues Monet and Sisley. Pissarro’s People celebrates the painter’s humanism in all its aspects and brings together nearly 100 works of art, including some 37 paintings and numerous works on paper made over the course of his entire career. Highlights include portraits of the artist’s friends and family as well as notable genre scenes set in the fields and marketplaces of rural France. Pissarro’s paintings of townspeople, peasants, and farm workers stress their individuality rather than their mythic qualities, which so preoccupied Millet, his predecessor in the agricultural figural tradition. The cast of characters Pissarro represented reflects his unique engagement in contemporary political, social, and economic issues. The exhibition reconsiders Pissarro’s people within this rich contextual setting.
Pissarro’s People was organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Jeannik Méquet Littlefield
S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
Denise Littlefield Sobel
Dr. N. L. Ascher
Nan and Ransom Cook
Charles and Ann Johnson
The catalogue is published with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment for Publications.
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