National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes Camille Pissarro (artist)
French, 1830 - 1903
Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes, 1872
oil on canvas
overall: 45.1 x 54.9 cm (17 3/4 x 21 5/8 in.) framed: 70.8 x 80.6 x 5.7 cm (27 7/8 x 31 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.)
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection
1970.17.51
Not on View
From the Tour: The Beginnings of Impressionist Landscape
Object 6 of 7

When the idea arose for a group exhibition of work by the artists who would come to be called impressionists, Pissarro and Sisley were among the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters. Pissarro drafted the group's written statement of purpose and would be the only artist to participate in all eight impressionist exhibitions. This painting was one of five he showed at the first exhibition in 1874.

It was made shortly after Pissarro had returned to his home in Louveciennes after fleeing France during the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune. (Born in the Virgin Islands, then a possession of Denmark, Pissarro was a Danish citizen.) During the war his house had been used by Prussian troops, and many of the canvases he left there were destroyed. He must have viewed the freshly plowed earth, like the spring blossoms that bring life to the dormant landscape, as a signal of renewed hope for his adopted country and for his career. Pissarro's work was then beginning to attract buyers. This painting, for example, was one of the first impressionist works purchased by Paul Durand-Ruel, a dealer whose support was to become critical to the young artists.

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