Camille Pissarro was a key member of the French Impressionist group of painters. He was born in St. Thomas in the West Indies, where his father was a prosperous merchant. Pissarro received his early education at a boarding school near Paris where he displayed a talent for drawing. In 1852, he left for Venezuela in the company of the Danish painter Fritz Melbye, and worked as an artist there for two years.
Pissarro settled in France in 1855. He arrived in time to see the great Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) which included a large art section. Following the advice of Corot, whose landscapes he had admired at the fair, Pissarro was soon painting and sketching in small towns and villages near Paris, along the Seine, Oise and Marne rivers. He studied at the Acad�mie Suisse and formed friendships with Paul C�zanne, Claude Monet, and other future members of the Impressionist group. By the late 1860s, his powerful realist landscapes were praised by the prominent critic Emile Zola.
Pissarro gradually abandoned Neo-Impressionism in the 1890s, preferring a style that better enabled him to capture his sensations of nature, although retaining the lightness and purity of color acquired during his divisionist phase. In the last years of his life Camille divided his time between Paris, Rouen, Le Havre and his home in Eragny and painted several series of different aspects of the cities with varying light and weather effects, while expressing the dynamism of the modern city. Many of these paintings are considered amongst his best and make a fitting finale to his long and eventful career.
Camille Pissarro was actively painting up until the end of his life. He died in the autumn of 1903 in Paris at the age of 73.