Camille Pissarro: The Perennial Student

Julian Bell reviews two exhibitions: Camille Pissarro: Le premier des impressionnistes at the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris (through July 16) and Pissarro à Éragny: La nature retrouvée at the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris (through July 9).

Bell writes: “Nearly always, Pissarro composes poems about passing light that can be mapped intelligibly, letting you know just how this farmhouse lies behind that willow, how an orchard intervenes between it and a barn, or how some lane winds between the hedges and rivers and hillsides of verdant, bountiful northern France. The slow-paced steadiness of this well-tended terrain and the slow-shifting tenacity of Pissarro’s interpretations of it are almost of a piece. Both speak of sustained and solid workmanship, testimony that feels fortifying.”