Camille Pissarro’s painting Two Young Peasant Women was created during the summer of 1891 and completed in mid-January 1892. It was readied in time to be part of Pissarro’s exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, organized by his art dealer Joseph Durand-Ruel. This oil on canvas painting depicts two peasant women, sitting close together but with a space between them. The two figures take up nearly all the frame, directing viewers’ attention to their faces.
The painting expresses great emotion with its wistful background and symbolizes common Christian themes like sorrow, compassion and redemption, representing the hardships that the peasant figure had to endure. The details of these figures are exquisitely rendered; from the subtle wrinkles in their skin to the folds in their clothing, creating a feeling that they are actually alive. This artwork captures both Pissarro’s skillful brushwork and religious depth of content.
This artwork serves as an important precursor to Camille Pissarro’s The Shepherdess (Young Peasant Girl With A Stick), painted in 1881. Here we see similar themes captured with a focus on timelessness and human emotionality amidst turbulent times and landscapes.