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Home | Articles | Highlights: Pioneering Modern Painting

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), House and Tree, L’Hermitage, ca. 1874. Oil on canvas, 26 x 21M, in. Private collection.
Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), L’Hermitage, Pontoise, Winter, ca. 1874. Oil on canvas, 18Zv x 15C, in. Private collection.
Paul Cézanne and
Camille Pissarro, 1865–1885

by Joachim Pissarro

Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885, on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from June 26 through September 12, presents for the first time the work of Paul Cézanne (French 1839–1906) and Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903) in the context of their artistic relationship.
Since art historian Roger Fry’s
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), Orchard, Côte Saint-Denis, at Pontoise, 1877. Oil on canvas, 26 x 22 inches. Courtesy of Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg, Fla. Extended anonymous loan. Photography by Thomas U. Gessler.
Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), Orchard, Côte Saint-Denis, at Pontoise, 1877. Oil on canvas, 45Zv x 34Zx inches. Courtesy
The National Gallery, London. Photograph © The National Gallery, London.
seminal study on Cézanne in 1927, many art historians have discussed the importance of the artistic collaboration between Cézanne and Pissarro within the development of early modernism. This exhibition is the first to reunite the results of their twenty-year artistic interchange. On view are approximately 85 paintings and eight etchings executed by these artists as they worked side by side in the towns of Pontoise and Auvers in the Oise Valley in France. An insightful collection of self-portraits and portraits of each other, still lifes, and landscapes are presented together as they were executed; in close relation to each other. A stunning group of these works even depict the very same subjects as painted by the two artists.
Pioneering Modern Painting not only reveals an important
Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885 will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. For more information on the exhibit and future venues at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, call 212.708.9400 or visit www.moma.org. MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street, New York City.

Joachim Pissarro is curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, and great-grandson of the French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.

link in the development of modern art, but also addresses the paradox between individual originality and artistic collaboration. Prior to the period in which Pissarro and Cézanne worked, the standards for artistic production were defined by realism and allegorical content. The long, intense collaborative relationship between the two artists demonstrates how their exchange nurtured a strategic transformation of this classical artistic tradition and contributed to the artistic changes that characterized the second half of the nineteenth century in France. This exhibition will present a comparative approach to this artistic dialogue, and illustrate how the formation of a new artistic language was made possible through sharing and communication, rather than as the result of individual enterprises.


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