November 20, 2006
BMA Presents Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape
BMA is only East Coast venue for this ticketed exhibition
Baltimore, MD (November 20, 2006)—The Baltimore Museum of Art has organized the first major exhibition to explore Camille Pissarro’s transformation from a traditional landscape painter to a daring pioneer of Impressionism. Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape, on view February 11–May 13, 2007, brings together 45 of the artist’s most beautiful and innovative canvases from major museums and private collections around the world to focus on a pivotal decade of his career, 1864–1874. During this brief yet intense period, Pissarro’s experimental techniques and vision laid the groundwork for an entire generation of painters.
Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape is a special ticketed event featuring a complimentary Acoustiguide audio tour. General admission to the BMA and the permanent collection is free.
Highlights include large-scale paintings included in the Salon exhibitions of the 1860s and a powerful selection of landscapes seen in the first Impressionist show of 1874. Colorful scenes of the picturesque French countryside show the evolution of Pissarro’s painting technique, palette, and subject matter from a Barbizon-influenced style toward modernism. These works have been brought together from collections around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée d’Orsay, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as seldom seen private collections.
“Inspired by an early Pissarro landscape in the Museum’s collection, BMA curator Katy Rothkopf has conceived a compelling exhibition that further establishes Pissarro as a leader in the Impressionist movement,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. “I know visitors in Baltimore and other cities on the tour will enjoy discovering these exceptional paintings.”
Examples of Pissarro’s evolution as a painter include the BMA’s Strollers on a Country Road, La Varenne-Saint-Hilaire (1864), an early exploration into landscape painting influenced by the solid construction and bold palette of the Barbizon school. Large-scale Salon paintings such as Côte des Jalais, Pontoise (1867) demonstrate the artist’s growing power of spatial organization and firmly constructed composition. Hints of Pissarro’s interest in the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere are revealed in The Corner of the Route de Versailles and the Chemin de l’Aqueduc, Louveciennes (1869), considered one of his first forays into Impressionism. The exhibition culminates with the presentation of three out of five of his paintings from the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. These magnificent works—Orchard in Bloom (1872), The Chestnut Trees at Osny (c. 1873), and Hoarfrost at Ennery (1873)—showcase a varied palette, unique quality of light, and atmospheric changes that look forward to the experimentation that continued in Pissarro’s career as one of the leaders of the Impressionists.
The exhibition catalogue brings together 49 exquisite works from the touring exhibition, from formal Salon compositions to a selection of daring entries in the first Impressionist exhibition. Essays on the development of Pissarro’s painting style from 1864 to 1874 and on the influence of place in his work acknowledge his formative years in St. Thomas and Venezuela and his fascination with the countryside surrounding Paris. Technical studies of several of the artist’s paintings from the 1860s reveal new insights into the artist’s creative process.
This exhibition is organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art and curated by BMA Curator of European Painting & Sculpture Katy Rothkopf.
The 224-page catalogue with 90 color illustrations is written by BMA Curator of Painting & Sculpture Katy Rothkopf, with an essay by Christopher Lloyd, one of the world’s leading authorities on Pissarro. Hardback $45; paperback $30. The catalogue is available in The BMA Shop, 443-573-1844.
The exhibition travels to the Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin (June 9–September 9, 2007) and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee (October 7, 2007–January 6, 2008). A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape is generously supported by the Florence Gould Foundation and The Alvin and Fanny Blaustein Thalheimer Exhibition Endowment Fund.
Citigroup is the corporate sponsor of the exhibition.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.