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Hues of the human condition

Pissarro a unique Impressionist, depicted people as individuals

“Washerwoman,” an oil study from 1880 by Pissarro, is an image of one of his neighbors. She is part of “Pissarro’s People” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. (photo courtesy of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute)
“Washerwoman,” an oil study from 1880 by Pissarro, is an image of one of his neighbors. She is part of “Pissarro’s People” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. (photo courtesy of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute)
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Along time ago, in the countryside northwest of Paris, the natural beauty and goodness of a middle-aged, rosy-faced farm woman caught the eye of Camille Pissarro. Her name was Marie Adeline, she was his neighbor, and she apparently agreed to pose for him. For those who gaze upon her face 180 years later, those details aren’t that important. What catches our eyes and minds is that Pissarro painted “The Washerwoman” as a real person, someone ...


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