Female Peasant Carding Wool (1875) by Camille Pissarro

Female Peasant Carding Wool - Camille Pissarro - 1875

Artwork Information

TitleFemale Peasant Carding Wool
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Dimensions47 x 56 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationE.G. Bührle Foundation, Zürich, Switzerland

About Female Peasant Carding Wool

“Female Peasant Carding Wool” is a notable oil on canvas artwork created by Camille Pissarro in 1875, currently preserved in the E.G. Bührle Foundation in Zürich, Switzerland. Measuring 47 by 56 centimeters, this piece exemplifies the Impressionism movement. As a genre painting, it depicts an everyday scene common to the rural working-class life of the period.

The artwork showcases a serene moment in the life of a female peasant engaged in the task of carding wool. She is seated outdoors on a simple, wooden chair amidst a pastoral setting. The composition centers on the figure of the woman, whose face is angled downward in concentration on her work, which involves brushing raw wool to disentangle and clean it in preparation for spinning. Her attire is typical of rural workwear of the time—a long dress, a shawl, and a bonnet to protect her hair, possibly suggesting the cooler season or a need for modesty.

The woman’s surroundings emerge in dappled sunlight, with strokes of paint capturing the gentle play of light and shadow. A large basket overflowing with wool is visible beside her, implying the magnitude of her task. Pissarro’s brushwork is loose and expressive, characteristic of the Impressionist desire to capture a moment with immediacy and a sense of the fleeting effects of light, rather than providing meticulous detail. The greens of the grass and the natural backdrop contrast softly with the blues of the woman’s dress and the off-whites of the wool, creating a harmonious, peaceful scene that reflects an intimate moment in the daily life of a rural worker.

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