A day in Paris by Esprit de France #2

Outings | A day in Paris | Cultural events | Exhibitions | Museums | About art
A day in Paris by Esprit de France, Pissaro
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Hôtel Parc Saint-Séverin
L'Hôtel Parc Saint Séverin, situé dans le Quartier Latin

Celebration at Paris of Pissarro, the first of the impressionists

Two exhibitions this spring are devoted to Pissarro, leading us to rediscover this great artist who founded Impressionism along with Monet.

The first one is a retrospective at the Musée Marmottan, favoured by lovers of Impressionism, as this beautiful mansion enshrines an outstanding collection of Monet's works among which the founding painting, Impression, Sunrise (1872). The exhibition retraces the stages of his career, a major one within twentieth century art: the beginnings of Pissarro while still in the Danish West Indies -where his Jewish Spanish family had emigrated long before, yet he retained his Danish citizenship all his life-, then, his settling in Paris in 1855 followed by his active participation in all of the Impressionist exhibitions, also his collaborations with Monet, Cézanne and even Gauguin ; at last his shift towards Divisionism in 1886 under the influence of Seurat. An intellectual polyglot, a committed artist, Pissarro who had a strong and radiant personality, was involved in new aesthetics as well as in revolutionary political ideas.

This is shown very clearly throughout the second exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg, where interestingly, the associate curator is none other than Joachim Pissarro, the artist's grandson and also History of Arts professor in New York. It details the last twenty years of his life at Eragny, a village on the river Epte which joins the Seine further down at Giverny. He bought a farmhouse there thanks to a loan from Monet and this allowed him to paint nature at all seasons and all hours. He endlessly used the same patterns and subjects in a constant effort to capture the perfect sensation and he created a true poetic image of a moment.

Pastry Camille by Angelina for Pissaro by Esprit de France

Other works are also presented, water-colours and graphic works endowed with more social meaning. As for us, we enjoyed viewing anew La Gelée Blanche à Ennery (White Frost at Ennery which raised many criticisms in 1874) and discovering La Seine in Rouen both at the Musée Marmottan. We experienced similar pleasure leisurely gazing at La Cueillette des pommes à Eragny at the Musée du Luxembourg.

As you exit from it, we suggest you stop at the annex of the Angelina Tea Room to sample their pastry "Camille", created in homage to Camille Pissaro.