Haymakers Resting, 1891
Oil on Canvas
Collection of the McNay Art Museum, bequest of Marion Koogler McNay.
Pissarro’s peasant women often relax, converse, or reflect, illustrating his belief that peasant life held the basis for a harmonious, rational, and humane society. This utopian view of rural existence may account for the general tranquility in many of his country scenes. A high horizon and monumental figures in the foreground distinguish Pissarro’s outdoor scenes from other Impressionist paintings. Densely woven brushwork, which helps viewers blend color optically, also shows the influence of Seurat and the Neo-Impressionists on Pissarro in the 1890s. Characteristics of Impressionist painting in this work include highly visible broken brush strokes; brilliant color, in contrast to the darker tones of early 19th century painting; and the play of light on surfaces.