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The First Impressionist? Johan Jongkind’s Bicentenary – first period in France
Four great painters who are candidates for the role of First Impressionist, before Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and the rest of the core members of the movement in France, include: Camille Corot (1796-1875), the major landscape painter who was ‘father’ to the movement, Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819–1891), whose painterly landscapes... Read more
Gustave Courbet 2: The group
Before the young Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) had even completed The Stone Breakers, he had already started work on an even greater masterpiece, A Burial at Ornans, one of the canonical paintings of the century. Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), A Burial at Ornans (1849-50), oil on canvas, 315 x 668 cm,... Read more
Landscape oil sketches from Valenciennes to Pissarro
Yesterday, I commemorated here the anniversary of the death of the landscape painter who made plein air oil sketching a part of standard practice, so paving the way for the transformations which occurred in the nineteenth century and after – Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1750–1819). This article looks at his... Read more
Cadmium blues
Williamsburg Oil Paints, Cadmium colours. Aren’t they gorgeous? Last summer, artists across Europe were shocked at a proposal to ban the sale of artists’ paints containing cadmium pigments. This post is the first in a series in which I give my personal view of where we are now, and... Read more
Favourite Paintings 7: Camille Pissarro, Setting Sun and Fog, Éragny, 1891
A simply golden landscape at sunset, by the central figure in Impressionism and father of Post-Impressionism. Painter Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro Painting Setting Sun and Fog, Éragny Year 1891 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 54 x 65 cm (21.3 x 25.6 in) Collection Private collection The Painting Sunset behind... Read more
Favourite Paintings 16: Alfred Sisley, Fog, Voisins, 1874
A woman tends plants in a garden on a foggy day. One of the most atmospheric paintings by any Impressionist, it is mystifying that Sisley’s wonderful landscapes have been all but forgotten. Painter Alfred Sisley Painting Le brouillard, Voisins (Foggy Morning, Voisins; Fog, Voisins) Year 1874 Media oil on... Read more
Favourite Paintings 16: Alfred Sisley, Fog, Voisins, 1874
A woman tends plants in a garden on a foggy day. One of the most atmospheric paintings by any Impressionist, it is mystifying that Sisley’s wonderful landscapes have been all but forgotten. Painter Alfred Sisley Painting Le brouillard, Voisins (Foggy Morning, Voisins; Fog, Voisins) Year 1874 Media oil on... Read more
Monet’s signature begs more questions
Discovery of what appears to be Monet’s signature on a painting which he could have made should be good news for the Serlachius Museum in Finland, if for no one else. However for me it deepens the mystery surrounding Monet’s celebrated Grainstack series of 1890-91. The story of Monet’s... Read more
Strength in Numbers 1: Series Paintings by Impressionists
We are all familiar with Monet’s famous series paintings of Grainstacks at Giverny and Rouen Cathedral. But these are by no means unique in Impressionist painting: others painted series, some of them larger and far more complex than any that Monet attempted. This series (!) of articles investigates series... Read more
Strength in Numbers 2: Pissarro’s series
In the first article of this series, I showed what I mean by series paintings, defined some sub-types, and considered how and when they came about. This article considers Camille Pissarro’s series paintings: how they developed, which major series he produced, and what he intended by painting them. You... Read more