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Studio: international art — 30.1904

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Studio-Talk

way that the colour of the paint changes entirely
into the natural colour of objects, seen in certain
distances. Camille Pissarro strives to embrace
nature entirely, he sees connections and mutual
dependence between all phenomena of light and
colours ; he threw off the fetters of line, the final
result of which was almost always the ability of a
caligrapher a la Kaulbach.

The reaction against such a limitation of art was
sometimes pushed so far, that, together with the
line some artists would reject the form which the
line expresses, and they would paint pictures
composed of brilliant spots, reasoning logically that
if pictures well-drawn but bad in colouring had
their raison-d'etre, then one is bound by common-
sense to admit the same raison-d'etre for pictures
badly drawn but good in colouring. Camille
Pissarro avoided both the extremes, and the result
of it is that his pictures combine the effect of line
with that of colour.

The etchings by Camille Pissarro which illustrate
this paper show another side of the genius of this
painter, who employs with equal skill all artistic
means to express what he sees. Now, for the first
time, the public has the opportunity of seeing and
appreciating these etchings, and it will judge them
more fairly than the critics did his first pictures.

Pissarro's etchings are essentially those of an
impressionist. They have freedom of action, and
a something not expected, that is only found
amongst artists who use the point and the brush
with equal skill. In Pissarro's work the line is
subtle and light, yet the landscape is deep and
full of atmosphere. The views he gives us
do not pose. His models are not petrified;
they do not act symbols, allegories and life.
In his etchings as well as in his pictures, he
gives us the interpretation, the surprises and
that kind of inspiration arising from the
pleasure of being delighted with ' everything
one sees. He knows all the marvels with
which Nature , is adorned, all the light veils with
which she covers herself, all the tremors that
thrill her, all the vibrations that animate her.
Camille Pissarro expresses much—very much—■
with what appears very little work, and with
apparently very simple means. He reproduces
impressions admirably, he is light, yet solid, and
always large and profound; he is dreamy, calm,
precise, and full of poetry; he does not give us
imitations of Nature and things in the narrow
meaning of the word, but gives us Nature
herself, if that be possible.

In his etchings, as in his pictures, the artist's

eye, like his soul, discovers the large aspect of his
subject, the totality, the harmony, that make
Camille Pissarro's work so great, so varied, and so
complex in its simplicity. He does not represent
things in their inexpressive brutality, as was the
fashion with old art; no, he preaches, if I may
use the expression, the use of diffused light, of
extra light tones, of large spots of colour suggested
by Japanese art, of the simplification of the
object modelled, and a general effect, easily
obtainable by finishing some parts and leaving
others unfinished. It is true that light, that sove-
reign ideal of modern painting, was first taught by
Claude Lorraine, but la peinture blonde, as con-
ceived and expressed by Camille Pissarro—viz.
enfolding shapes in light, or throwing the living
expression of light over the object it bathes and
the space it fills, is a modern invention.

I will conclude this paper with a quotation from
a criticism of Camille Pissarro, written in 1890.
Compared with the criticism written in 1876, it will
show what people, not only the general public, but
even those who often claim to be the priests of art,
know about it. The quotation is from Octave
Mirbeau :—" No matter what people may say, the
radical revolution that has come for painters in
the art of painting has come from Edouard Manet,
Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet; and to them
the intelligent public is really indebted for this
revolution in the art of seeing nature."

Now for a few personal words about this great
artist, who is in perfect harmony with his art. He
is of medium height, his voice is sweet, his
features are regular, and his beard is long as that
of a patriarch. He works very hard and lives very
simply.

In 1870 he was in London with Claude Monet;
their pictures were rejected by the Royal Academy.
He has refused the Legion of Honour.
He is a truly great man.

CTE' de Soissons.
STUDIO-TALK.

(From our Own Correspondents.)

LONDON.—The first of the Neglected
Artists' series of exhibitions to be held
at Mr. John Baillie's Art Gallery, Princes
Terrace, during the year, was opened
in September with the works of the late
Mr. George Wilson, a Scottish painter of rare grace
and charm. The exhibition will remain open until
the end of October, and it gives an opportunity to
the art-loving public to make up in a measure for
the neglect of this gifted poet-painter during his

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