Camille Pissarro as an avant-garde painter

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903): Jalais Hill, Pointoise (1867)
“This little valley, this hill have a heroic simplicity and forthrightness. Nothing would be more banal were it not so grand…” Émile Zola wrote of the manner in which Pissarro handled his rural subject matter… Indeed, the positive reception of the painting by critics and writers positioned Pissarro as an avant-garde painter in the second half of the nineteenth century…Camille Pissarro (1830-1903): Jalais Hill, Pointoise (1867)

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Madame Monet and Her Son

Claude Monet (1840-1926): Woman with a Parasol (1875)
One of Monet’s most popular figure paintings, Lady with a Parasol showcases the parasol, one of his longstanding themes… The parasol itself makes many appearances in his work, primarily because when painting from real life outdoors, most women would use one to protect their skin and eyes… But it also creates a contrast of light and shadows on the figure’s face and clothing, indicating which direction the actual light is coming from…

Claude Monet Woman with a Parasol (1875)

Table, Napkin and Fruit

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906): Table, Napkin and Fruit (c.1900)
After studying Cézanne formulated his own semi-sculptural approach to still lifes… Typically strewn across an upturned tabletop, Cézanne’s pears, peaches, and other pictorial elements seem at once to rest on a solid, wooden plank and yet float across the surface of the canvas like a new kind of calligraphy…

Paul Cezanne Table, Napkin and Fruit (c.1900)

Primary colors

Wassily Kandinsky (1896-1944): Yellow-Red-Blue (1925)
Yellow-Red-Blue, the primary colors on the painting feature squares, circles and triangles and there are abstract shapes mixed in with these… There are also straight and curved black lines that go through the colors and shapes… This is to help provoke deep thought in the person viewing the piece…

Wassily Kandinsky Yellow-Red-Blue (1925)

Mont Sainte-Victoire

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906): Mont Sainte-Victoire (c.1905-06)

This is one of the last landscapes of Mont Sainte-Victoire, favored by Cézanne at the end of his life… The view is rendered in what is essentially an abstract vocabulary. Rocks and trees are suggested by mere daubs of paint as opposed to being extensively depicted. The overall composition itself, however, is clearly representational and also follows in the ethos of Japanese prints. The looming mountain is reminiscent of a puzzle of various hues, assembled into a recognizable object. This and other such late works of Cézanne proved to be of a paramount importance to the emerging modernists, who sought to liberate themselves from the rigid tradition of pictorial depiction…

Paul Cézanne Mont Sainte-Victoire 1905-06

The Origin of the World

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877): The Origin of the World (L’Origine du monde, 1866)
Courbet regularly painted female nudes, sometimes in a frankly libertine vein… But in The Origin of the World he went to lengths of daring and frankness which gave his painting its peculiar fascination… Such unsanctified nudes provoked much discussion about flaws in Courbet’s character and art, but the artist reveled in the added attention and increased reputation as a confrontational artist… The Origin of the World, now openly displayed, has taken its proper place in the history of modern painting…

Gustave Courbet L'Origine du Monde (1866)

Guatave Courbet: Sleep

Guatave Courbet (1819-1877): Sleep (1866) this work shows Courbet’s interest in an erotic Realism that became prevalent in his later work… Raw eroticism is delivered without aid of cupids or mythological justification of any kind, making this work vulgar to those with the prevailing taste of the day. Such unsanctified nudes provoked much discussion about flaws in Courbet’s character and art, but the artist reveled in the added attention and increased reputation as a confrontational artist…

Guatave Courbet (1819-1877) Sleep 1866