Detail in Focus

Apple Harvest

Camille Pissarro, 1888

In this landscape painting, the French artist Camille Pissarro created a tapestry of color and light. When seen at a distance, the painting’s many colors blend to form a whole image of figures picking and gathering apples in the countryside.

Apple Harvest, 1888, Camille Pissarro (Collection: Dallas Museum of Art)

But if you look very closely at Pissarro’s canvas, the secret behind this dazzling effect is revealed. See for yourself by zooming into the gigapixel image here.

Apple Harvest (detail), 1888, Camille Pissarro

When seen close up, as in the detail view above, we can how the artist created the apples and the basket from hundreds of tiny strokes of pure color - red, blue, yellow, green, orange and pink - applied with great precision.

Fascinated by the optical effects of the Neo-impressionists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, Pissarro experimented with their "pointilist" techniques in the early 1880s. After four years, however, he tired of this time-consuming method, and returned to more expressive, and less mechanical ways of painting and drawing.

Credits: All media
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