In November 2005 the Art Gallery of New South Wales presents the first comprehensive Camille Pissarro exhibition in Australia. It is the largest exhibition by a major Impressionist artist ever to be held in Australia, with more than 100 works drawn from collections worldwide and includes some of the painter's most famous images.
The Pissarro exhibition opens in Sydney and then tours in March 2006 to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was the only painter of the Impressionist group who participated in all eight of the historic Impressionist exhibitions held in Paris between 1874 and 1886. It was he who drafted the Impressionist convention and was the principal organiser of the first exhibition held in the photographer Nadar's studio in April 1874. Consequently, Pissarro was regarded as a central figure of the group - "nothing new and excellent appeared where he wasn't among the first, if not absolutely the first, to discern and defend," opined the Parisian critic, writer and editor of La Revue Blanche, Thadée Natanson (1868-1951).
Pissarro was the most astute judge of young talent. Cézanne and Gauguin both acknowledged their profound debt to his innovative methods, having come under his tutelage during their formative years. Seurat, Signac and Matisse also benefited from Pissarro's generous encouragement and advice at the start of their careers.
"He was somebody to consult, someone like the good Lord," Cézanne remembered.
The exhibition comprises more than 100 works - approximately 60 paintings and 40 works on paper. Major works have been lent by the foremost museums of the world including the Metropolitan Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; the Tate Gallery, London; the J Paul Getty Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Gallery of Art, Washington among others.
The exhibition is divided into nine sections. Works are presented chronologically, showing not only the broad evolution of Pissarro's art, but also his phases of intense experimentation and innovation which will be examined in detail.
Both the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria possess major paintings by Pissarro in their permanent collections, including Peasants’ houses, Éragny in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Boulevard Montmartre and Banks of the Viosne in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. This is the first time the Australian public will be able to see these much-loved canvases alongside other examples of Pissarro's painting at its best.
The curatorial team is led by Terence Maloon, the Gallery's senior curator of special exhibitions; Joachim Pissarro, senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, who is a leading authority on the works of his great-grandfather and the principal consultant to our exhibition; Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, who is collaborating with Joachim Pissarro in producing the forthcoming Pissarro catalogue raisonné to be published by the Wildenstein Institute, and our consultant; Peter Raissis, curator of European prints and drawings at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; the art historian Richard Shiff from the University of Texas at Austin, and Edmund Capon AM, OBE, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. All have contributed to the catalogue.
Significant education and public programs accompany the exhibition. These include a symposium of internationally renowned Pissarro experts, a lecture series, artist talks, student and teacher workshops, films and special events.
The Gallery's late night Wednesday program Art After Hours features extensive Pissarro inspired events. Further details >.
The Principal Sponsor in Sydney is Investec Bank (Australia) Limited.
"We are delighted to be associated with the first comprehensive Pissarro exhibition to visit Australia." says Investec's Chief Executive Officer Brian Schwartz. "Values of passion, focus and creativity drive our business and stand us apart in investment banking. In Pissarro we have more than found a kindred spirit and source of inspiration. We congratulate the Art Gallery of New South Wales on bringing so many wonderful and important Pissarro works to Australia for the first time." says Schwartz.
"The story of his researches is tantamount to the complete history of Impressionism ... they even seem to preface the art of tomorrow."
Georges Lecomte, Exposition Camille Pissarro, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris, February 1892, n.p.
"There is something utterly touching and beautiful about this artist [Pissarro]. It is the example of his perpetual renewal."
Gustave Geffroy, "Pissarro" (written 10 June 1898, to accompany Pissarro's exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel) in La Vie Artistique, vol. 6, H. Floury, Paris, 1900, pp. 181
"Never have paintings seemed to me to have such magisterial breadth. You hear in them the deep voices of the earth; you intimate in them the powerful life of trees.
"The austerity of the horizons, the disdain for commotion and the complete absence of any irrelevant flavour give the ensemble a kind of epic grandeur."
Émile Zola, "Les Naturalistes", L'Événement illustré, Paris, 19 May 1868, reprinted in Mon Salon - Manet - Écrits sur l'art, Garnie-Flammarion, Paris, 1970, p. 147
Lenders to the exhibition
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris
Musée de la Chartreuse, Douai
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Musées de Pontoise:
Musée Tavet-Delacour, Musée Camille Pissarro
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
Kunstmuseum Sankt Gallen
The British Museum, London
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Cardiff
The National Gallery, London
The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester
United States of America
The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California
Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
Private collectors in Australia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA
|On view:||19 November 2005 – 19 February 2006
Art Gallery of New South Wales,
Art Gallery Rd
|Telephone:||(02) 9225 1744 or
toll free 1800 679 278
|Hours:||10am - 5pm every day
(closed Christmas Day)
Art After Hours
until 9pm Wednesday evenings
$10 students, concessions, members
$40 family (2 adults/2 children)
Accoustiguide $7 adults / $6 students, concessions, members
|Media Information and Interviews:||Claire Martin, Press Office
(02) 9225 1734 or 0414 437 588
Images available on request
IMAGE CREDIT: Camille Pissarro Peasants' houses, Eragny 1887 Art Gallery of New South Wales