Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes by Camille Pissarro
Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes, 1872 by Camille Pissarro, oil on canvas
Camille Pissarro, one of the creators of the impressionist style, was the only impressionist to participate in each of the eight group exhibitions. He sent five paintings to the first show in 1874. Its modest scale and simple subject notwithstanding, Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes headed the list of Pissarro's works in the catalogue, perhaps for personal associations. Fleeing with his family to London during the Franco-Prussian War, the artist waited until late 1871, after the suppression of the Commune, to return to his home in Louveciennes. His house had been occupied and many of the paintings he had left behind had been destroyed. As France began to rebuild, the artist also gradually recovered from the disaster. In Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes, painted the next spring, abundant white blossoms and freshly plowed soil are tokens of hope and renewal.
Early in his career Pissarro designated himself a pupil of Corot, and in this 1872 painting Pissarro's broad method of composing and choice of a tranquil rural setting inhabited by a few small peasant figures still recall the older artist. Pissarro was able to sell the painting in July 1872, soon after its completion. It was bought by a new and important patron, Paul Durand-Ruel, one of the earliest impressionist purchases by the dealer remembered for his courageous and sustained support of the avant-garde artists.