Donkey Ride at La Roche-Guyon (1864 – 1865) by Camille Pissarro

Donkey Ride at La Roche-Guyon - Camille Pissarro - 1864 - 1865

Artwork Information

TitleDonkey Ride at La Roche-Guyon
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Date1864 - 1865
Dimensions53 x 37 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Donkey Ride at La Roche-Guyon

The artwork titled “Donkey Ride at La Roche-Guyon” is an oil on canvas painting by Camille Pissarro, created in the period 1864 – 1865. As a representative of the Realism art movement, this genre painting measures 53 by 37 cm and depicts a serene rural scene. It is currently held in a private collection. The painting captures an everyday moment, imbued with the artist’s interest in portraying the naturalness and simplicity of country life.

The artwork presents a bucolic landscape where the essence of rural living is depicted with subtlety and a truthful eye. In the foreground, a group of figures are engaging in leisure activity, with two children and a woman standing beside a donkey, looking on as another woman sits atop a second donkey guided by a figure, presumably a man, seated on another donkey facing the viewer. The gentle interaction between the figures and animals exudes a sense of calm and conveys the soothing qualities of the countryside.

The background features an expansive view of the La Roche-Guyon area with soft, rolling hills and a large expanse of sky dominating the upper portion of the painting. Pissarro’s use of light and shadow, along with his subtle color palette, emphasizes the open air and natural light that characterizes the Realist movement’s focus on depicting scenes true to everyday experiences.

A glimpse of rural architecture, perhaps a tent or a simple building, can be seen in the midground, slightly to the left, which integrates human habitation into the natural environment. Further away, cows graze lazily near a body of water, possibly a river, which reflects the sky and adds a sense of tranquility to the scene. The presence of the river suggests the importance of waterways in pastoral economies and lifestyles. Pissarro’s technique, visible in the broad, loose brushstrokes, captures the essence of the setting and resonates with the Realist commitment to authenticity and the honest representation of the contemporary world. Overall, the artwork stands as a testament to Pissarro’s dedication to portraying the unembellished reality of the landscapes and everyday life of his time.

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