Description of the painting by Camille Pissarro “Red roofs”

Description of the painting by Camille Pissarro “Red roofs”

Description of the painting by Camille Pissarro Red roofs

Written in 1877, materials – oil on canvas, dimensions – 53 by 64 cm. Located in the Musée d’Orsay Museum, Paris, France.

The French artist is an outstanding and consistent representative of impressionism, which in many ways formed this style. His main themes are traditional landscapes and his own, fantastic interpretation of light and air in them. This work belongs to the period when Pissarro was fully formed as a painter.

The full title in French makes it clear that in winter a part of the village of Côte de Saint-Denis in the Pontoise district is depicted. Although the time of year is not as obvious as on the canvases of Russian painters, the viewer can guess from flown foliage and bare branches, from glimpses of white snow in the grass on a high hill. The contrasts of warmth created by sun-declining – beyond the limits of the image – the sun and the overall flavor of the area with a cold sky, along with plastered snow-white houses, are superbly expressed in color.

Interestingly, such buildings with red roofs of tiles are a completely familiar attribute of the master’s homeland, but he was able to draw them so brightly and with details of the environment that not everyone will notice. Faded grass or dried flowers on the porch shine with ocher and orange, soft transitions of green, red-burgundy, yellow, brown and black are spread under fancy trees, similar to the garden, and in larger patches of compressed fields in the background.

Transparent white is mixed with sky blue by passing a quick cloud run. And in general, the whole picture lives, moves and breathes due to visible smears near the relief. It shows the author’s view and the beauty that he saw at one moment and immortalized in eternity. Also of note is a well thought out diverse composition and perspective.


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