French, born Saint Thomas, 1830-1903
Later in his career, Camille Pissarro was deeply affected by Georges Seurat’s theories and techniques. The two first met in 1885, and the influence between them was mutual. Peasants in the Fields, Éragny demonstrates Pissarro’s brief experimentation with Pointillism, which Seurat helped to develop. Artists using this technique cover their canvases in distinct dots of color, rather than in large patches of paint, to create an image that visually coheres at a distance. In 1884 Pissarro purchased a country home in Éragny, northwest of Paris. He often painted the surrounding area, focusing on the subject of rural life. In this work, Pissarro conscientiously applied each mark of paint, creating shadows using deep blue, violet, green, and orange. This simple scene, reminiscent of his earlier works from Montfoucault, is warmed by sentiment for his subject matter as much as the sunshine Pissarro so vividly suggests.
Label from Humble and Human: An Exhibition in Honor of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., February 2–May 26, 2019