A Man Driving Two Cows by Camille Pissarro

  • French Impressionist Camille Pissarro composed this early drawing during a visit to Venezuela
  • The double-sided drawing reflects his interest in capturing the everyday tasks of the working class
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3162

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Camille Pissarro
1830-1903 | French

A Man Driving Two Cows + Man at Washing Basin (verso)

Inscribed "Pinco" (lower right)
Black lead, pen and brown ink on paper

French Impressionist Camille Pissarro composed this drawing during a visit to Venezuela at the very beginning of his artistic career. Born in St. Thomas, Pissarro moved to Paris in 1855 to pursue a living as an artist. However, he frequently returned to Caribbean imagery, including a series of Venezuelan genre scenes executed in the 1850s. The present double-sided drawing is among these early compositions and reflects his early interest in capturing not only the landscape, but also people going about their everyday chores. The choice of subject anticipates his highly lauded portraits of French peasants that he composed later in his career.

Born in St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies, Pissarro was sent to school in Paris at the age of 11, where he first displayed a talent for drawing. In 1855, having convinced his parents of his determination to pursue a career as an artist rather than work in the family shipping business, he returned to Paris where he studied at the Académie Suisse alongside Claude Monet. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Pissarro moved to England. With Monet, he painted a series of landscapes around South-East London and studied English landscape painters in the museums. When he returned home to Louveciennes a year later, Camille discovered that all but 40 of the 1500 paintings he had left there - almost 20 years of work - had been vandalized.

In 1872, Camille settled in Pontoise where he remained for the next 10 years, gathering a close circle of friends around him. Gauguin was among the many artists to visit him there, and Cézanne, who lived nearby, came for long periods to work and learn. In 1874, Pissarro participated in the first Impressionist exhibition and became the only painter to exhibit in all eight of their shows. His revolutionary approach to painting and thought-provoking compositions had a profound effect on his contemporaries and the entire future of modern art. Today, his work can be found in many of the most important museums and private collections throughout the world. 

This work is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Dr. Joachim Pissarro and will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of Drawings by Camille Pissarro.

Circa 1853

Paper: 8" high x 10 1/2" wide
A Man Driving Two Cows by Camille Pissarro
Maker: Pissarro, Camille
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: France
Type: Drawings
Style: Impressionism

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