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Camille Pissarro

July 10, 1830 - November 13, 1903


Camille Pissaro was a French painter who contributed greatly to both Impressionism and post-Impressionism during his lifetime. Born on a French colonial island, St. Thomas, he first developed his skills after traveling to Paris to attend boarding school. However, forced to return by his father, Pissarro found his first inspiration in the tropical surroundings of his home and nearby countries like Venezuela. After moving back to Paris with a friend, he studied under well-established artists like Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Gustave Corbet, among others, within the Paris Salons. Still, despite admiring their work, he decided their methods were too conventional for his tastes. Taking lessons from their plein air techniques, Pissarro preferred to finish his work outdoors in the setting, earning himself a controversial reputation. After years of experimentation, he became great friends with other innovative French artists, Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne, with whom he often exhibited. In fact, in the course of his life, it seems that he met every notable French artist in his quest to inspire innovation in painting. Art historians have often identified Pissarro as the father figure of the impressionist group as its eldest member.

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