A calm vision of nature, the peaceful luminosity of a pleasant early evening is tangibly conveyed. The church tower sits under a friendly pink-tinged sky, framed by delicate trees. Earthy tones make up the greenery and dashes of blue, white, grey and peach comprise the ever-changing cloudy sky, evoking moments of sunshine followed by shade. The technique used in this work illustrates Pissarro’s engagement with Neo-Impressionism. In Pissarro’s opinion, Impressionism was waning by 1883 and under the influence of Georges Seurat, he embraced the Pointillist technique of short, fragmented brushstrokes to capture the scintillating effect of sunlight over a luscious meadow. Seurat proclaimed Pissarro to be the first of the Impressionist painters to convert to the Neo-Impressionist style. In Le Clocher de Bazincourt, the artist used the Pointillist style to create vibrant colour contrasts, innovatively executing marks of yellow and mauve to bring the foliage to life, avoiding a formulaic approach and bringing a sense of spontaneity to the scene. From one of the windows of his house, Pissarro was able to see the steeple of the church, which suggests that the present composition may have been painted directly from his studio.
An enchanting portrayal of the rustic French countryside, the dappled effects of sunlight cause the colours to sparkle beautifully, encouraging the viewer to enjoy this intimate vista as much as the artist did. Despite utilising the Pointillist technique, Pissarro’s interest in the nuances of light and atmospheric changes never faltered and remained an important legacy of his earlier Impressionist style.
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