Picking Peas (c.1887) by Camille Pissarro

Picking Peas - Camille Pissarro - c.1887

Artwork Information

TitlePicking Peas
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Art MovementPointillism,Neo-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Picking Peas

“Picking Peas,” created circa 1887 by artist Camille Pissarro, is a genre painting embodying the principles of Pointillism and Neo-Impressionism, two influential art movements that flourished towards the end of the 19th century. Pissarro’s artwork, part of a private collection, captures a rural scene where figures are engaged in the labor-intensive task of harvesting peas.

The artwork presents a vivid rural landscape, with laborers absorbed in the act of picking peas from a verdant field. One notes that the figures are attired in clothing typical of the period, with women wearing long dresses and headscarves, while men don in garments suitable for farm work. The play of light seems to be a critical feature, as it breaks through the expansive sky, casting warm tones that contrast with the cooler hues of the surrounding greenery.

Pissarro intricately applies small, individual strokes of color, a hallmark of Pointillism, creating a shimmering effect that suggests the flickering light typical of a late afternoon. The scene conveys a natural rhythm and the simplicity of pastoral life, achieving a sense of quietude amidst the diligent activities of the field workers. The distant horizon, punctuated with homes and what appears to be industrial chimneys, offers a stark reminder of the encroachment of industrialization upon rural settings. Through this juxtaposition, the artist subtly engages with the social and economic themes of his time, reflecting on the interaction between humans and their ever-evolving environment.

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