Woman Burning Wood (c.1890) by Camille Pissarro

Woman Burning Wood - Camille Pissarro - c.1890

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Burning Wood
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Woman Burning Wood

The artwork titled “Woman Burning Wood,” created by Camille Pissarro circa 1890, is an exemplar of the Impressionist movement in art, specifically classified as a genre painting. Currently, the artwork is held in a private collection. As one observes this piece, it is evident that Pissarro has captured an everyday scene with a keen interest in the play of light and color characteristic of Impressionist works.

The artwork depicts a woman engaged in the task of burning wood. She is turned away from the viewer, allowing the audience to focus on her actions rather than her identity. The woman is clad in a vibrant, multi-colored shawl and a full-length dress that suggests modesty and an attire suited for outdoor labor. With one hand, she appears to be adjusting or stoking the fire, while the other hand balances her stance with a stick. The flames are rendered with an energetic interplay of warm hues, contrasting with the calm, cool colors used for the surrounding vegetation and background.

Pissarro’s brushwork is loose and dappled, creating a sense of movement and life within the artwork. He adeptly uses a blend of short strokes to suggest the texture of the woman’s clothing and the turbulence of the smoke emanating from the fire. The background is composed in a manner that suggests a field with treeline, applying less detail and softer tones to allow the viewer’s eye to remain focused on the woman and her immediate environment.

Overall, “Woman Burning Wood” reflects Pissarro’s interest in rustic scenes and his ability to imbue them with a sense of immediacy, bathed in the natural light that was of particular importance to the Impressionist painters. This work offers a window into the agrarian life at the end of the 19th century, energetically captured through the lens of Pissarro’s impressionistic style.

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