Winter Landscape

Impressions of Winter 

Camille Pissarro, the ‘father of Impressionism,’ lived in London from 1870-1871, during his self-imposed exile from the Franco Prussian war. Arriving just in time for the winter snow, one of his first UK works, of which only 12 survive, was ‘Fox Hill’, a landscape of Upper Norwood. It is now on display at The National Gallery.

This painting and the artist’s work in general, were the inspiration for our latest master class at The Vale. The group used their experience of Streatham Common in winter for their pieces. It was a frosty day in south London, so, although they were indoors and warm, the light was perfect for channelling Pissarro’s approach. 

They began by sketching in paint the scene they wished to portray and there was much discussion about the techniques for re-creating the winter snow. They particularly liked the season’s trees as there were no “fiddly” leaves to draw. 

Tutor, Di Robertson, said: “They all brought their own personalities to the canvases and it was amazing to see the different styles of paintings that were achieved. Now they are keen to take a trip to central London to see how they compare to ‘Fox Hill’.”  

During his time in London, Pissarro lived at 77a Westow Hill, Upper Norwood (Crystal Palace). He painted various landscapes in and around South London including Lordship Lane Station, Dulwich College and Sydenham Hill.