A few days ago, I wrote about an exhibit dedicated to Pissarro at the musée Marmottan. There’s another show dedicated to him at the tiny musée du Luxembourg (also known as the musée du Sénat). Coincidentally perhaps, it closes the same day. This museum is just a brief stroll from where I work, so I’m sure I’ll be able to sqeeze in a visit.
Pissarro started out as an Impressionist, then switched to neo-Impressionism, also known as pointillism, and then back to Impressionism. This exhibit focuses on the years 1886 to 1994, the pointillism years. (Follow this link to learn more about the technique.) Pissarro moved into the little village of Eragny, north-west of Paris in 1884. He was able to purchase a house thanks to a loan from Claude Monet. The exhibit website poses the question Pointilleux Pissarro? Pointilleux means “meticulous, exact, punctilious” and Pissarro’s works are all of that in the best sense of the word.
Why would Pissarro be an ardent neo-Impressionist and then switch back? Apparently, the answer lies in money. Pissarro had a family to support and painting in the pointillist manner was so much more time consuming that his revenue fell to the point that he needed to make a change. In addition, the art buying public was not too sure about this new technique. I wish I could go back in time and scoop up a few dozen canvases from a time when this pointilleux technique was not appreciated.