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C\'8ezanne, Pissarro: Two Painters Drew From Other's Work

To fully understand the exhibition called Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865-1885, which has been organized at the Museum of Modern Art by Joachim Pissarro, the painter’s great-grandson (who is also a MoMA curator), it has to be remembered that the two featured patriarchs of pictorial modernism began their public careers as rejected artists. That is, they were stigmatized as rejected artists by the French government’s annual Salon. But such were the paradoxes of governmental authority in the arts that the French also provided the means for exhibiting these great painters by creating an official Salon des Refusés Salon des Refusés

Art exhibition held in 1863 in Paris by command of Napoleon III for those artists whose works had been refused by the jury of the official Salon. Among the exhibitors were Camille Pissarro, Henri Fantin-Latour, James M.
, which allowed unorthodox talents to be admitted (albeit on a segregated basis) without the approval of an official jury. Thus was born the kind of challenge to established opinion that later came to be called the avant-garde.

There’s nothing like sharing a public humiliation Public humiliation was often used by local communities to punish minor and petty criminals before the age of large, modern prisons (imprisonment was long unusual as a punishment, rather a method of coercion).  to create a powerful bond between the most independent minds, and Cézanne and Pissarro were nothing if not independent. Yet such bonds also have a way of stimulating anxiety and doubt, especially self-doubt. As soon as we come upon the passage in the exhibition catalog in which Cézanne declares, “As for the old Pissarro, he was a father to me. He was a man you could turn to for advice; he was something like God,” we sense that this is a bond destined des·tine  
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.

 to be frayed fray 1  
1. A scuffle; a brawl. See Synonyms at brawl.

2. A heated dispute or contest.

tr.v. frayed, fray·ing, frays Archaic
1. To alarm; frighten.


In the halcyon hal·cy·on  
1. A kingfisher, especially one of the genus Halcyon.

2. A fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea
 days of their association, however, Cézanne and Pissarro drew a good deal of strength and inspiration from each other’s work, and in organizing this exhibition Joachim Pissarro has done a wonderful job of matching (so to speak) the paintings that underscore The underscore character (_) is often used to make file, field and variable names more readable when blank spaces are not allowed. For example, NOVEL_1A.DOC, FIRST_NAME and Start_Routine.

(character) underscore - _, ASCII 95.
 shared affinities. Pissarro’s was, of course, a more even-tempered sensibility; and when one thinks back to the kind of wild, proto-expressionist paintings that Cézanne produced in his early work, it might even be said that Pissarro had a civilizing influence on him.

“Cézanne’s deference toward Pissarro’s early work is evident in 1881,” writes Joachim Pissarro. “Every work produced by Cézanne at that point appears to refer to an earlier painting by Pissarro. Even though the motif of Cézanne’s Mill on the Couleuvre near Pontoise is not the same as Pissarro’s monumental canvas L’Hermitage Hermitage, museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage (ĕr'mētäzh`), museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the world's foremost houses of art. It was reconstructed in the neoclassical style in the 19th cent.
 at Pontoise, the two paintings clearly belong to the same family. We know that Pissarro’s painting impressed Cézanne, as he referred to it specifically in one of his letters from L’Estaque. If the same serene grandeur presides over both paintings, the Cézanne, executed fourteen years after the Pissarro, displays a boundless energy through the staccato of parallel rows of brushstrokes of color not of the white race; - commonly meaning, esp. in the United States, of negro blood, pure or mixed.

See also: Color
, seen especially in the foliage.”

Despite the close affinities, they were, after all, painters of quite different sensibilities. There is in Pissarro’s oeuvre a softness, a delicacy, a radiant shimmer that’s not to be found in Cézanne, whose touch is so much more emphatic. In the end, as Joachim Pissarro observes, “Pissarro is about to jump from the Cézannian boat and catch the Neo-Impressionist boat, while Cézanne is about to launch his solitary experiment that will lead him to develop and expose his new ‘truth in painting’”—which, from our perspective, can be seen as a prophecy of Cubism cubism, art movement, primarily in painting, originating in Paris c.1907. Cubist Theory

Cubism began as an intellectual revolt against the artistic expression of previous eras.

There’s much to ponder Ponder - A non-strict polymorphic, functional language by Jon Fairbairn <>.

Ponder's type system is unusual. It is more powerful than the Hindley-Milner type system used by ML and Miranda and extended by Haskell.
 and much to take pleasure in here. This remarkable exhibition—which illuminates so much more than the achievements of two great masters—is a show not to be missed.

Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865-1885 remains on view at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, through Sept. 12, and is accompanied by an excellent catalog.

Copyright 2005 The New York Observer
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Author:Hilton Kramer
Publication:The New York Observer
Date:Aug 14, 2005
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