Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This brook at Osny was painted by French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, who endured prolonged financial hardship in keeping faith with the aims of Impressionism. Despite acute eye trouble, his later years were his most prolific : in all, Pissarro painted several hundred canvasses. The Parisian and provincial scenes of this period include Place du Théâtre Français (1898) and Bridge at Bruges (1903).

Pissarro was born in St Thomas to Abraham Gabriel Pissarro, a Portuguese sephardic Jew and Rachel Manzana-Pomié, from the Dominican Republic. Pissarro lived in St. Thomas until age 12, when he went to a boarding school in Paris.

After the Franco-Prussian war, Pissarro stayed in London for many years where he came back many times after returning to France. Known as the "Father of Impressionism", Pissarro painted rural and urban French life, particularly landscapes in and around Pontoise, as well as scenes from Montmartre.

Camille's great-grandson, Joachim Pissarro, is currently the Head Curator of Drawing and Painting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. His great-granddaughter, Lélia, is a successful painter and resides in London. During his lifetime, Camille Pissarro sold few of his paintings.

This picture sold for 560 Pounds in London in 1922 and fetched 26,000 Guineas in 1965 (1 Guinea=1 Pound and 1 shilling). By 2005, however, some of his works were selling in the range of $ 2 to 4 million. In 1981, a record was set for the artist at Sotheby's impressionist and modern art auction in New York when La Rue Saint- Lazare sold for $ 4,512,806.

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