Paysanne Couchant (1882) by Camille Pissarro

Paysanne Couchant - Camille Pissarro - 1882

Artwork Information

TitlePaysanne Couchant
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Dimensions167.6 x 139.7 cm
Art MovementPointillism,Neo-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Paysanne Couchant

The artwork, “Paysanne Couchant” by Camille Pissarro, was created in 1882 and is an exemplar of the Pointillism and Neo-Impressionism art movements. Pissarro utilized oil on canvas for this genre painting, which measures 167.6 x 139.7 cm. Currently, the artwork resides in a private collection.

The artwork depicts a pastoral scene featuring a peasant woman in the foreground, who appears to be taking a rest from labor. She is seated, bending forwards with her hands clasping a tool, perhaps a spade or hoe, which suggests she has been working the land. Her attire is indicative of her rural life: she wears a wide-brimmed hat, providing shade from the sun, and a simple, long garment that shields her while working.

Pissarro’s brushwork is evident in the vivid and varied use of color and texture across the canvas; lighter, brighter tones dominate the backdrop and the sky implies a sunlit setting. The woman is portrayed with muted and earthy hues, which may be suggestive of her connection to the soil and the peasantry. The background features another figure, possibly another laborer, half-concealed by the vegetation, further emphasizing the rural setting and agrarian theme of the artwork.

Both the subject matter and the style reflect Pissarro’s fascination with rural laborers and farm scenes, as well as his experimentation with the luminous effects of color, a trademark of Neo-Impressionism and Pointillism. Through “Paysanne Couchant,” Pissarro contributes to the genre painting tradition by capturing the everyday life and toil of the peasant class, thus offering a window into the 19th-century French countryside while also pushing the boundaries of painting techniques of his time.

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