French impressionist painter, whose friendship and support provided encouragement for many younger painters. Camille Pissarro was born in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, and moved to Paris in 1855, where he studied with the French landscape painter Camille Corot. At first associated with the Barbizon school, Pissarro subsequently joined the impressionists and was represented in all their exhibitions. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), he lived in England and made a study of English art, particularly the landscapes of Joseph Mallord William Turner. For a time in the 1880s Pissarro, discouraged with his work, experimented with pointillism; the new style, however, proved unpopular with collectors and dealers, and he returned to what he found to be a freer impressionist style.
A painter of sunshine and the scintillating play of light, Pissarro produced many quiet rural landscapes and river scenes. Pissaro also painted street scenes in Paris, Le Havre, and London. An excellent teacher, he counted among his pupils and associates the French painters Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne, his son Lucien Pissarro, and the American impressionist Mary Cassatt. Of Pissarro's great output (including oil paintings, watercolors, and graphics), many works hang in the Musee d'Orsay, Paris, and in the leading art galleries of Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, has his Bather in the Woods (1895).
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