Éragny, 1887 Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903)
oil on canvas,
55 cm x 66 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (purchased with support from the BankGiro Loterij, the Mondriaan Fund, the Rembrandt Association and her Claude Monet Fund, and the VSB Foundation)
Camille Pissarro’s fresh, pastel-coloured painting, shows people bringing in the hay at Éragny, where the artist lived. The haystacks and peasant figures make for a dynamic composition. The paint has been applied in dots and short strokes of contrasting colour, which deftly convey the shimmering light of a summer’s day.
Pissarro experimented with the Neo-Impressionist or Pointillist stipple technique for some time after 1886, but he applied it more freely and less systematically than the movement’s founders, Seurat or Signac. Haymakin is one of the loveliest paintings from this period.
Vincent van Gogh could have seen the work in person, as his brother Theo sold it in 1887. The more experienced Pissarro was like a mentor to Van Gogh, who greatly valued his views on art and admired his colour effects. ‘What Pissarro says is true – the effects colours produce through their harmonies or discords should be boldly exaggerated', he wrote to Theo in June 1888.