Apple Trees at Pontoise (1868) by Camille Pissarro

Apple Trees at Pontoise - Camille Pissarro - 1868

Artwork Information

TitleApple Trees at Pontoise
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Dimensions38.3 x 46.6 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Apple Trees at Pontoise

The artwork “Apple Trees at Pontoise” by Camille Pissarro is a fine example of the Realism art movement, completed in 1868. This genre painting, rendered in oil on canvas, measures 38.3 by 46.6 cm and is currently held in a private collection. Pissarro’s work typically reveals a deep fascination with the rural landscape and the daily life of the people within it, which is depicted with honesty and without romantic embellishment, characteristic of the Realist perspective.

In “Apple Trees at Pontoise,” the artwork presents a bucolic scene with a focus on a large, robust apple tree to the right, complemented by a lesser tree to the left. The composition of the painting is balanced by the horizontal ground line and buildings in the background, which establish the setting as Pontoise—a French commune where Pissarro spent significant periods. The sky, filled with soft clouds, suggests either a late afternoon or an overcast day.

Two figures dominate the foreground – one standing near the path, perhaps a farmer surveying the land, while the other one, dressed in darker colors, walks along the path. Their presence, along with the other individuals gathered in the middle distance, contributes to the genre painting narrative, which tells the story of everyday life. MessageLookup
Pissarro’s brushwork is loose and dynamic, imparting a sense of vibrancy and movement to the foliage of the trees, a technique that foreshadows his later involvement with Impressionism. The artist’s use of color is somewhat subdued, with earthy tones predominating, punctuated by spots of green and the blue of the figures’ clothing. This color palette, along with the straightforward depiction of an ordinary rural landscape, underlines the Realist commitment to portraying everyday scenes without idealization.

Overall, the artwork serves not only as an insight into the rural life of the late 19th century but also as an important record of Pissarro’s evolutionary journey as an artist within the broader context of the Realist movement.

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