Camille Pissarro, ‘Paysanne Nouant son Foulard (Peasant Arranging her Scarf)’, 19th Century,  M.S. Rau Antiques

This intimate work by Camille Pissarro represents a period of significant transition for the Impressionist master. After a period dedicated to landscape painting in the 1870s, the early 1880s was a time of experimentation for the artist. He embarked on a series of works in a range of media dedicated to the human figure - particularly peasant women. In watercolor, gouache, pastel and print, Pissarro captured the rural female and the minute moments of domestic life.

Depicting a peasant woman tying her scarf, Paysanne Nouant son Foulard displays the harmony of color and composition that typifies his work of the 1880s. Composed of a symphony of color and strokes of paint, the work exemplifies the plein air technique of Pissarro's best Impressionist canvasses.

Signature: Initial C.P. (lower right)


About Camille Pissarro

Often regarded as the first Impressionist, Camille Pissarro is known both for his revelatory plein air landscape pictures, such as in The Path to Les Puilleaux, Pontoise (1881), and for mentoring artists including Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin. Pisarro himself was inspired by the rural scenes of Realists Jean Francois Millet and Gustave Courbet. He also received artistic guidance from Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, who instructed him in outdoor painting after Pissarro’s move to Paris in 1855. Pissarro, however, placed greater emphasis than Corot on spontaneity, saying “paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression.” From 1885-1889 Pisarro worked with Divisionist artists Paul Signac and Georges Seurat, but their meticulous method proved too rigid for Pissarro, who felt that it could not capture the movement and randomness of nature.

Danish-French, 1830-1903, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, based in Paris, France