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Apple Harvest by Camille Pissarro

    Apple Harvest by Camille Pissarro

    Apple Harvest by Camille Pissarro was created in 1888. The painting is in Dallas Museum of Art. The size of the work is 60,9 x 73,9 cm and is made of oil on canvas.

    Points of red, blue, green, pink, lavender, orange, and yellow create a stylized and carefully balanced scene of apple picking in the French countryside. The figures labor under the shadow of a large tree whose edges create a decorative pattern in the foreground, and the small dabs of pure, vibrant color create the dazzling effect of bright afternoon sunshine. The points of color, placed very close to one another, blend in our eye rather than on the surface of the canvas. This exploration of color and optics was known as neo-impressionism, or pointillism. Camille Pissarro represented peasants throughout his life, and he believed fervently in the positive effects of manual labor.

    In Apple Harvest, Pissarro went to great lengths to avoid the monotony of pointillism, and his dots are surprisingly active and diverse, fracturing and curling to define form as well as color. Robert Herbert, one of the great 20th-century historians of impressionism, described Pissarro’s complex approach to describing the deep shadow under the apple tree at the center foreground of the painting with a myriad of colored points: “The shadow has brilliant red, intense blue, intense green as well as pink, lavender, orange, some yellow, and subdued blues and greens. The pigments were not allowed to mix much together, and preserve their individuality which, because of the high intensity, results in an abrasive vibration in our eye that cannot be resolved into one tone. In order to make the contrast still sharper, Pissarro strengthens the blue around the edges of the shadow, a reaction provoked by the proximity of the strong sunlit field.”…Read more in Dallas Museum of Art

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