Sept. 2 Art Minute: Camille Pissarro, ‘Peasants Resting’

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Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), Peasants Resting. Oil on canvas, 1881. 32 by 25 ¾ inches. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1935.6. Gallery 35

Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), Peasants Resting. Oil on canvas, 1881. 32 by 25 ¾ inches. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1935.6. Gallery 35

In Peasants Resting two women and a child take a moment to sit, perhaps on their way home after a day of labor; their slumping poses communicate fatigue. Pissarro conveys a restful mood with dabs of paint in complementary colors (orange and blue, ochre and violet) that—when viewed from a distance—coalesce into dappled light shining through the trees. Pissarro stressed this aspect of his painting when he showed it under the title “Figure Study in the Open Air, Sunlight Effect” in the Impressionists’ exhibition of 1882.


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