Saturday in the Museum with Camille

Image: Camille Pissarro, The Gleaners (1889).

Today’s art post continues with variations on a theme for the last few weeks. A couple weeks ago we posted a picture from Millet of haystacks. Of course, Millet’s most famous painting of rural life is the The Gleaners (Des glaneuses), depicting the hard work of getting by on little.

So, today we highlight a work from Camille Pissarro that also takes gleaners as the subject. Thought it must be conceded that Pissarro’s is less gloomy. There is little discussion of this painting on the interwebs, though it was included in an exhibition done by the Kunstmuseum Basel last year.

The museum brochure includes a quote from a French journalist of the time that seems applicable to this painting:

“What do people know of this old Impressionist’s lifestyle? He has settled in the depths of Normandy, on a patch of land that he himself farms and he lives off the products of the soil he tills. When the harvest has been good and work in the fields leaves him free, Pissarro takes up his brushes, looks around him and sets down on the canvas the harsh existence of rural beings and things – a life that is also his. And, above all, never any sacrifices to ‘art’, never any compromises!”


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