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Analysis of the paintings The Goose Girl at Montfoucault (Camille Pissarro) and The Rocks (Vincent van Gogh) Essay


The paintings created by the two artists are similar in several aspects. The artists completed the paintings around the same era. The time difference between the completion of the first painting (The Goose Girl) and the second one (The Rocks) was only thirteen years. The works of both artists focused on creating impression about diverse aspects of their everyday life encounters.

Impressionism connotes the artistry involving the creation of impressions about nature and landscape. It is notable that Camille Pissarro painted “The Goose Girl at Montfoucault, White Frost” (Pissarro). The painting signifies a countryside scene. The inclusion of a figure of a human being, a tree, and landscape makes the scene discernible. The artist incorporated domestic geese appearing at the center of scene. Vincent van Gogh painted “The Rocks” thirteen years later.

The artistic ability to create impressions through paintings started in the late 19th Century. The creativity emerged in Paris when artists started painting impressions to reflect their current landscapes. The impressionists moved away from the norm of art those days. Notably, many paintings incorporated historical features that signified painter’s inspiration.

The artworks created by impressionists had noticeable themes. Impressionists also added unique brush movements that made their artworks outstanding. In addition, impressionism influenced the emergence of postimpressionism. Postimpressionists were inspired by the need to improve on the works produced by impressionists.

It is notable that Vincent van Gogh is one of the foremost postimpressionists. Postimpressionists commented on the impressionists approach to create artworks that appeared on a natural landscape.

The impressionists applied light and color to create their artworks. Postimpressionists hailed the value of artificial pictures as a form of art. They noted the specific limitations in the impressionists’ artworks, which inspired their approach. Postimpressionists employed the use of thick paints and brushes with larger strokes to generate their paintings (Stokstad and Michael 23).

The subsequent section presents an analysis of the two paintings. Much as many people have discussed the differences in arts between the impressionism and postimpressionism, this paper relies on visual observation of “The Goose Girl at Montfoucault” by Camille Pissarro and “The Rocks” by Vincent van Gogh to show how the paintings exemplify the notable similarities and distinctiveness of the two eras.

Analysis of the Goose girl an Montfoucault and the Rocks

The two paintings incorporate understandable differences and resemblances. Camille Pissarro painted “The Goose girl at Montfoucault” in 1875 (Pissarro). The painting represents a normal life of people living on the countryside. “Vincent van Gogh created ‘The Rocks’ in1888” (Van Gogh).

Vincent van Gogh work represents a feature in the environment characterized by blue and green color. A critical observation of the two artworks reveals certain features that represent changes implemented by artists from impressionism to postimpressionism (Van Gogh).

The Goose Girl at Montfoucault

The artwork by Camille Pissarro has features represented on a landscape. It creates an impression of a landscape in a natural environment. In the setting, a figure representing a girl stands closer to the domestic geese on a landscape. The domestic geese occupy the central part of the painting.

The painting also has a tree and other vegetation on the landscape. These remain the essential aspects of impressionism. The impressionists showed more interest in representing a normal and routine life in the countryside by capturing it on the landscape.

The quality of brushstroke is evident in the painting. In particular, the painting has rough brushstrokes and lighter paint. The brushstroke shows a direction of movement but not very specific. The artist’s application of color is also evident. The observation process reveals the use of a finer and light color (Pissarro). The artwork has a color movement. The variations of color theme in the painting tell a story about the landscape.

For example, the varying color as the geese leaves the enclosure tells something about the background. Indicatively, the figure of the girl draws attention in the viewpoint within the scene. Anyone viewing the painting immediately sees the girl. The artist seems to be looking slightly downwards on the landscape (Pissarro). This gives additional features in the background but with the focus being the girl tending to the geese.

Camille Pissarro also applied light in varying degrees while developing the artwork. Notably, light and color application emerged as the strong aspects of impressionists work. In this case, Camille Pissarro has used both light and color to depict an aspect of the impressionism era. The color and light depicts autumn season and a specific time during day (Pissarro). The vegetation losing their leaves proves that it a frosty season. The painter used color to bring into focus the large tree that has lost its foliage.

The relatively calm and chilly outlook depicted by the painting gives the viewers a perception of the normal quite countryside. Camille Pissarro succeeded in applying varying textures to depict diverse features of a natural environment. Particularly, the textures reveal the difference in grass type, tree leaves, earth surface, and stones among others (Pissarro).

It is notable that the quality of objects in the painting aims at revealing materiality of paint used by the painter. The textures of objects represented also communicate the same aspect of materiality of the paint. Impressionists normally attempt to place the object, which is the focal point closer to the scene (Stokstad and Michael 210).

The painting has placed the tree, the girl, and the domestic animals closer to each other for the viewers. The landscape enhances the closeness between these objects. Camille Pissarro depicts a sense of the depth between the objects (Pissarro). For example, Camille Pissarro ensured that the size of the girl and the domestic animals have varying lengths thus depicting the sense of depth. The application of optical illusions enabled Camille Pissarro to develop contours and volumes.

Evidently, the figure of the girl plays an insignificant role in the painting. The painter was not very far away from the object of interest. However, the presence of a human being in the painting provides a sense of life and culture (Pissarro). The fact that Camille Pissarro decided to hide the individuality of the girl may further indicate its insignificance.

The Rocks

The artwork incorporates features that symbolize postimpressionistic landscape. Vincent van Gogh being the foremost postimpressionist had a vision for the artwork of that era. The painting appears to show the aspects of a rocky topography. It appears that Vincent van Gogh faced a difficult time developing this painting as shown by the strong breeze (Van Gogh).

Postimpressionists use heavy paints. This is depicted in the painting where the landscape has a thick and heavy paint. The heavy paint is also evident beyond the rocky topography. The painting depicts a given color of the sky at a particular time in the day. The completion with the yellow and pink colors gave the painting a deep theme.

The viewpoint of the scene reveals that artist was at a raised point. The rocks are sitting on a flat topography. An individual looking at the painting quickly shifts attention beyond the rocky topography. This further reveals the painter’s position on the landscape (Van Gogh). The painter utilized heavy brushstrokes.

The brushstrokes moved in opposing directions. The appearance of the grass, plants, and the main trees swayed by the breeze towards one direction shows a windy day. The curvatures of the contour in the rocks boundaries show the application of lines in paintings (Van Gogh).

Postimpressionists normally apply thick paint in diverse color shades as depicted in the painting. Vincent van Gogh did not provide a focal point in his painting (Van Gogh). The painter was near the rock. He did not focus on creating a sense of depth although he was closer to the scenery. A water body surrounds the rocks (Van Gogh). The coastline stretched out thus making it difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the water body.


In summary, the two artworks “The Goose Girl and The Rocks” show the advancement from impressionism to postimpressionism. The artists applied the use of lines differently. On the Goose Girl, Pissarro used line movement to expose certain aspects of her painting. For example, Pissarro used the movement of the lines to create a landscape and the other figures. On the contrary, Vincent van Gogh employed the lines to expose the notion of movement of diverse features.

Works Cited

Stokstad, Marilyn, and Michael W. Cothren. Art History: Portable Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.

Van Gogh, Vincent. The Rocks. 1888. Web.

Pissarro, Camille. The Goose Girl at Montfoucault. 1875. 1 May 2013.

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MoleculeMan. "Analysis of the paintings The Goose Girl at Montfoucault (Camille Pissarro) and The Rocks (Vincent van Gogh)." IvyPanda, 25 Nov. 2019,

1. MoleculeMan. "Analysis of the paintings The Goose Girl at Montfoucault (Camille Pissarro) and The Rocks (Vincent van Gogh)." IvyPanda (blog), November 25, 2019.


MoleculeMan. "Analysis of the paintings The Goose Girl at Montfoucault (Camille Pissarro) and The Rocks (Vincent van Gogh)." IvyPanda (blog), November 25, 2019.


MoleculeMan. 2019. "Analysis of the paintings The Goose Girl at Montfoucault (Camille Pissarro) and The Rocks (Vincent van Gogh)." IvyPanda (blog), November 25, 2019.


MoleculeMan. (2019) 'Analysis of the paintings The Goose Girl at Montfoucault (Camille Pissarro) and The Rocks (Vincent van Gogh)'. IvyPanda, 25 November.

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