Cowherd, Pontoise (1882) by Camille Pissarro

Cowherd, Pontoise - Camille Pissarro - 1882

Artwork Information

TitleCowherd, Pontoise
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Cowherd, Pontoise

The artwork entitled “Cowherd, Pontoise” was created by Camille Pissarro in the year 1882. It belongs to the Impressionist movement and is categorized as a genre painting. Since its creation, the painting has found a home in a private collection, away from public display.

The artwork depicts a serene rural scene, with a figure seated at the center left, presumably a cowherd, overseeing a cow grazing in the foreground. The cowherd, donning a red headpiece and a blue garment, sits on a cylindrical object, possibly a tree stump or a bucket, and appears to be resting while passively holding a thin rope or tether that is attached to the cow. The cow, rendered with a warm brown hue, is the focal point, positioned slightly off-center and illuminated by a diffused light that suggests the subtleties of outdoor lighting typical of the Impressionist style.

The landscape in the background gently recedes into a soft, hazy skyline, characterized by a vast open field dotted with additional cows and figures in the distant pasture, hinting at the communal nature of rural life. Trees to the left create a partial frame for the scene, leading the viewer’s eye towards the open field. The palette is dominated by earthy greens and muted tones, and the brushwork is loose and expressive, capturing the essence and atmosphere of the moment rather than the finer details. This choice of technique is reflective of the Impressionist endeavor to depict the transient effects of light and color.

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