(b. 1830, St Thomas, Virgin Islands, d. 1903, Paris)

The Shepherdess (Young Girl with a Walking Stick)

Oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

For Pissarro the period around 1880 marked a caesura. After almost a decade, he took stock of what he had achieved so far and considered his own position in a new way. The Young Girl with a Walking Stick is one of the first compositions in which the painter places the figure centrally. It is also one of a series of paintings that show peasant women resting. Regarding the artistic technique, a change in the characteristic brushwork of the painter is evident. The canvas is covered with a multitude of increasingly minute dots of colour. This development heralded what is generally referred to as Pissarro's neo-Impressionist phase. He worked in this style from 1886 to 1890, encouraged by Seurat, the founder and theoretician of neo-Impressionism.

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