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Impressions gravées


One the greatest painters-engravers of all time

Camille Pissarro, Food Market in Pontoise, 1891. Etching and aquatint, 2nd state, 255 × 200 mm, Pontoise, Musée Camille Pissarro.



4, rue Lemercier - 95300 PONTOISE


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• Christophe Duvivier, director of the Museums of Pontoise


• Wednesday to Sunday
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 1:30 - 6 p.m.


• Full Rate: €5
• Reduced rate: €4
• Free for children under the age of 12


Camille Pissarro, impressions gravées, Somogy éditions d’art, 136 p., €25, by Michel Melot, former Chief Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Christophe Duvivier, director of the Museums of Pontoise.

Together with Degas, Pissarro was the great renovator of original engraving in the second half of the 19th century. His research led him to freely combine etching, aquatint and dry point, and as a result he invented the Impressionist print. His work includes close to 200 such prints but Pissarro also produced some thirty monotypes. His place in the history of art is next to the greatest painters-engravers of all times, Rembrandt, Goya and later Picasso.

Pissarro engraved his first etchings in the early 1860s. In 1873, Dr. Gachet set up a press in his home in Auvers-sur-Oise, that he shared with his artist friends. Pissarro made another go at engravings and together with Guillaumin and Cézanne he created such spontaneous small etchings that the viewer could believe they were painted from Nature.

As of 1879, he entered a very fruitful collaboration with Degas, who helped him in his first steps in multi-colored inking. Pissarro would go on to use engraving as a tool to experiment, and given the number of copies made possible by this technique, he could keep various versions of one single composition. The possibility of comparing the versions of one same motif was a priceless discovery that would lead him to the future series of urbanscapes and portscapes he developed towards the end of his life. Through engraving Pissarro pursued and at times was ahead of his studies in other techniques. He named his engravings “engraved impressions”.

This exhibition is based on the collections of the Musée Camille Pissarro and, through the exceptional partnership with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, on the loan of some forty prints from its collections. The remarkable ensemble, completed by loans from private collections and precious monotypes from the Musée d’Art Moderne André Malraux at Le Havre as well as from the Musée Faure in Aix-les-Bains, presents the most important exhibition of Pissarro’s engraved work to be set up in France in a great number of decades.