The town of Pontoise was Camille Pissarro's favorite place to paint outdoors. And even there it attracted his followers, as Pissarro soon had inParisa group of followers of his art. Above all, he was a student of the well-known Swiss Academy where he spent several years from 1859 to 1870. Although he maintained contact with some later, and of course he continued to go to Pontoise to paint, as this canvas from 1877 demonstrates, and which is part of the spectacular collection of Impressionist painting at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Spring in Pontoise by Pissarro
And certainly this is a canvas of the full Impressionismo. The only interest of the painter when facing this painting is to record that specific moment, with a certain light and colors. That is, leave the impression of that spring day. In fact, the same orchard and the same view were made under certain other conditions. An idea for a series that he would later transfer to his urban landscapes, such as the paintings dedicated to Boulevard Montmartre in Paris.
In this case we see how spring arrives in that place still with cold temperatures and a rather heavy and leaden atmosphere. Even so, flowers are beginning to be seen on some trees. That is the setting, but he is interested in that light and color, for which he uses cold tones, a very easy and loose brushstroke,completely giving up any line drawing.
It is a work of an already triumphant Impressionism, and it is precisely in the many paintings that he made in Pontoise where we can see how his art is evolving, to finally reach paintings like this one.
And it is that at first in his rural landscapes human elements were always seen, from people working in the fields to wheelbarrows and other tools. It was as if he picked up the landscape where Millet or the artists of the Barbizon School left off. But from then on, those human elements gradually became smaller, until they practically disappeared from the canvas. The reason is that he was no longer interested in the scene as much as the environment, the atmosphere, the lights and colors of that place and at that precise moment.
An evolution that years later led him to settle in the pointillist techniques created by Georges Seurat. Although later he returned to his impressionist approaches both for urban landscapes and in the natural environment. Some scenes that have made him one of the most famous painters of this artistic movement.