French, 1830-1903

Overview

Pissarro found official teaching methods stifling and  searched for alternative instruction. This he requested and received from Corot, who inspired him to paint outdoors. Pissarro found the work of Corot, along with that of  Courbet, whose work he discussed often, to be "statements of pictorial truth." Millet was another whose paintings he admired, especially his "sentimental renditions of rural life." Corot, however, would complete his own scenic paintings in his studio where he would often revise them  to his preconceptions. Pissarro, on the other hand, preferred to finish his paintings outdoors, often at one sitting, which gave his work a more realistic feel. Pissarro became friends with a number of younger artists who likewise chose to paint in the new style. Among them were Cézanne, Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Degas. Pissarro agreed with the group about the importance of portraying individuals in natural settings and expressed his dislike of the artifice and grandeur demanded in paintings accepted by the Salon. Pissarro called for an alternative to the Salon so he and his friends could display their own unique styles. To fulfill that endeavor, in 1873 he helped establish the "Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs," a collective that included fifteen artists who would become known as the Impressionists. Pissarro formed the group's first charter and became the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together.