Art Gallery secures major Impressionist painting

Camille PissarroThe Art Gallery of South Australia has secured French Impressionist painter, Camille Pissarro’s Prairie à Éragny (1886) for the Gallery’s permanent collection. Purchased for $4.5 million at at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art auction in New York, it is the Gallery’s most significant acquisition to date.

Art Gallery of South Australia, Director, Nick Mitzevich said “this landscape by Pissarro is a quintessential French Impressionist landscape – full of vitality and colour, created by Pissarro’s signature dynamic brushwork.”

“Painted at a defining moment in Pissarro’s career, Prairie à Éragny will enrich the Gallery’s Impressionist collection, introducing a wonderful example of French Impressionism into the collection which has strong holdings of British Impressionism. This acquisition will elevate the national and international standing of the State’s collection.”

Through the generosity of private donors, together with the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, the Gallery has been able to purchase Prairie à Éragny for the Gallery’s permanent collection.

“I thank those donors who have already given their support to this historic acquisition; over the last eighteen months, through the Gallery Foundation Masterwork Appeal, $4.4 million has been raised. Additional fundraising is essential to finalise the purchase and public support is now being solicited for its acquisition.” Mitzevich said.

Camille Pissarro was a defining artist of the French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist movements. He was the only artist who participated in all eight Impressionist exhibitions from 1874 to 1886 in Paris. Pissarro’s paintings are celebrated for the sensation of air, light and transparency they generate through his careful chromatic analysis.

Prairie à Éragny introduces the new Neo-Impressionist style that Pissarro would help to pioneer in the years to come. The resplendent palette of warm pinks and mauves, vivid greens and bright powder blues is iconic, describing the landscape through the purity of colour juxtapositions, which he applied directly in short brush strokes to canvas.

Prairie à Éragny will be unveiled at the Art Gallery of South Australia on Friday 22 August 2014 and will be on public display in the Melrose Wing of European Art from Saturday 23 August 2014.

For more information, visit: www.artgallery.sa.gov.au for details.

Image: Camille Pissarro, France, 1830-1903, Prairie à Éragny, 1886, Éragny, France, oil on canvas, 59.4 x 73.0

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