Wednesday, April 9, 2014

40 Days of Paintings - Garden of Les Mathurins at Pontoise (Pissarro)

This is another treasure that I'm fortunate to have locally.  Camille Pissarro's "Garden of Les Mathurins at Pontoise" is another favorite of mine at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.  And Pissarro is probably my favorite Impressionist painter.  Everytime I go to the Nelson, this is one of the paintings I go to and wish I could be in the scene.  Wherever this place is, I want to be there.  It's understandable why Pissarro painted in this garden, because just from the looks of it, it looks like a place where I would want to set up my easel and paint as well. 
Like Monet, Pissarro would to the optical illusion with color by breaking it down so that the eye would visually mix the color.  This technique was the beginning of a new, post-impressionistic style called pointillism, which Georges Seurat would be made famous for.  And the effect is outstanding in Pissarro's work.  I do think he took the technique to a more impressive level than Monet, which is why Pissarro is my favorite.  The colors were vibrant, and yet at a distance they became more naturalistic, and this is true with the Garden of Les Mathurins.  The brushwork is loose, but also controlled at the same time.  Each color goes where it is supposed to go, and you can still read the edges clearly.
This is another painting where I don't have a whole lot of profound insight to share.  I really do think that the painting along with Pissarro's style speak for themselves as to why it is a favorite painting. 

Garden of Les Mathurins at Pontoise
oil on canvas

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