Camille Pissarro (1830–1903) asserted a passion for natural settings, particularly landscapes and scenes of peasant life, throughout his long career. Rural settings by Realist and Barbizon painters, such as Corot, Courbet, and Daubigny, strongly influenced Pissarro’s early work. As his career developed, he introduced the loose brushstrokes of Impressionism and precise dabs of Pointillism. Each of these stylistic variations attempted to visually transcribe the visceral reactions he had in the direct face of nature and the people who labored within it. The rural laborer was the dominant figure choice for Pissarro. What began as an affinity for Courbet’s celebrations of common man and hard work, translated into Pissarro’s own political stance on social status and labor. By the 1890s, he was an avowed anarchist, but the extent to which his politics informed his rural landscapes and images of labor is still debated.
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