PISSARRO, CAMILLE (1831-1903), French painter, was born at St Thomas in the Danish Antilles, of Jewish parents of Spanish extraction. He went to Paris at the age of twenty, and, as a pupil of Corot, came into close touch with the Barbizon masters. Though at first he devoted himself to subjects of the kind which will ever be associated with the name of Millet, his interest was entirely absorbed by the landscape, and not by the figures. He subsequently fell under the spell of the rising impressionist movement and threw in his lot with Monet and his friends, who were at that time the butt of public ridicule. Like Monet, he made sunlight, and the effect of sunlight on the objects of nature, the chief subjects of his paintings, whether in the country or on the Paris boulevards. About 1885 he took up the laboriously scientific method of the pointillists, but after a few years of these experiments he returned to a broader and more attractive manner. Indeed, in the closing years of his life he produced some of his finest paintings, in which he set down with admirable truth the peculiar atmosphere and colour and teeming life of the boulevards, streets and bridges of Paris and Rouen. He died in Paris in 1903.
Pissarro is represented in the Caillebotte room at the Luxembourg, and in almost every collection of impressionist paintings. A number of his finest works are in the collection of M. DurandRuel in Paris.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)