Pissarro's People: Educational Resources

Dear Educator:

Thank you for supporting your students’ visit to the exhibition Pissarro’s People on view at the Legion of Honor. This exhibition presents the often-overlooked figurative paintings of Camille Pissarro. The nearly 100 works, which span the artist’s career, reveal his concern with the social, economic and political future of the communities where he lived. Ranging from paintings to works on paper, the artwork in the exhibition includes portraits of the artist’s friends and family as well as notable genre scenes set in the fields and marketplaces of rural France.

The resources assembled here are organized around the three themes listed below, which align with California State Standards, and will provide you and your students tools for viewing the works in the exhibition. While written to support the visual and language arts standards of the intended grade levels, please note that these materials may need additional adjustments to meet the needs of your classroom.

Pissarro’s World: Family, Friends, and Community (K–2nd grades)

Aligned with how our youngest viewers begin to experience the world around them, this theme focuses on Pissarro’s images of his children, the other artists he worked with, and the community he chose to live in. The accompanying activity addresses Pissarro’s use of texture and asks students to think about what might happen before or after the scene depicted.

Pissarro and His Artistic Process (3rd–5th grades)

Building on the diversity of media Pissarro worked in, this theme invites students to think about the artistic choices Pissarro confronted when creating his compositions. Students discover how the artist used color and space by comparing and contrasting two works of art.

Pissarro the Idealist (9th–12th grades)

This theme invites students to analyze how Pissarro’s political beliefs shaped how he chose and portrayed his subjects. To further identify with Pissarro’s way of viewing the world, students reflect on their own communities in search of creative insight.

Materials prepared by:

Margaret Gordon, FAMSF Docent
Emily Jennings, FAMSF Museum Educator, School and Teacher Programs
Holly Turney, FAMSF Teaching Artist

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Image Gallery

The Harvest, 1882
Jeanne Pissarro, Called Cocotte, Reading, 1899
Poultry Market at Gisors, 1885
Self-Portrait, 1903