Girl Tending Cows at Eragny

Camille Pissarro1884

The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

The Impressionist artist Pissarro was the eldest among the group. Being affable in character, he played a mediating role and took part in all eight of the Impressionist exhibitions. Based in Pontoise and Eragny, he continued to portray the rural countryside and the people living there in brushwork full of light and poetic sentiment. Influenced by Seurat, in the 1880s, he produced pointillist works. However, from the 1890s onwards, he returned to unrestricted painting techniques.

In 1884, Pissarro moved to Eragny. In those days, it was a tiny village rich in greenery along the River Epte, two hours from Paris with a population of 600 or so. From then on, Eragny became Pissarro’s source of inspiration. He adored this village throughout his lifetime and painted numerous works depicting the nature and people of Eragny. The early 1880s was a trying period for many of the Impressionist artists. Despite the support of art dealers such as Durand-Ruel, hardly any Impressionist works sold and the artists each concentrated on their work placing their future hopes in their works. This work can be considered the fruit of Pissarro’s blissful encounter with Eragny. Together with the warm light enwrapping the image, the artist’s love towards nature is conveyed through the dense pointillism.

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