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Impressionism: Pissarro’s “The Woodcutter” Painting Essay


What is the message that the artist is trying to convey?

The work of art in the subject here is a painting of the woodcutter by Pissarro. The message he wanted to convey here is how workers are shaped by the nature of the work they do. This means that, at all times, people take some motions forced into them by the nature of their works. In the painting, Pissarro painted a peasant laborer working on a woodcutter. The worker is shown positioning himself in a way such that he can move the woodcutter to and fro remarkably easily. This means that, in a while, these people end up changing their shapes due to their nature of work (Sabbeth 48).

For instance, if a laborer is delegated to operate the woodcutter and they work for more than two years, chances are high that their normal posture has to be affected. Also, Pissarro conveys another message which is the working condition for peasant laborers. The person cutting wood is not in the company of other workers. This means that jobs were delegated hence on any farmworkers spent most of their time alone going about with their duties. From this one can conclude that peasant laborers were overworked. This is evident from the amount of work seen in the painting whereby only one person is supposed to cut wood for the entire farm.

Is there a connection between the content of the painting and the Age of Industrialism?

According to the painting, there is a connection between its contents and industrialization. This means that the message conveyed has some elements of industrialization in it. Industrialization came about with the development of industries hence converting human lives. It impacted human lives positively hence helping them to upgrade their living standards. In the painting, the peasant laborer is in clothes that were brought into human lives by industrialization.

This means that human beings get clothes that are manufactured in industries (Pissarro, Pissarro, and d’Orsay 85). If the painting was to represent eras where industrialization had not been featured in human lives, there would be direct indication since the worker would be shown in animal skins and other traditional attires. Also, industrialization changed human lives, and this is why the man in the painting is referred to as a peasant worker.

This means that the man is working so that he can get some money to fund his needs in life. The need for money came with industrialization. Finally, the woodcutter itself is an industrial invention. In the olden days, people used stone tools to split wood or just consumed logs in their normal states. The woodcutter has a metal blade hence proving that industrialization had taken place at the time of the paintings.

Which segment of society is being portrayed?

Pissarro’s painting portrayed a segment of the society which comprised of the poor and low-income earners. These are people who have to work under hostile circumstances to feed their families. This is evident in the description of the woodcutter painting where it is said that the man is a peasant laborer. This means that he is poorly paid and given a lot of work to do by his boss. In many societies, peasant workers face a lot of troubles since they are exposed to vast dangers in the course of their duties. For instance, they may be given blunt working tools that end up giving them difficulties in accomplishing their set goals.

In the picture, it is evident that the man is struggling to make ends meet to make a living. Poor people are exposed to all sorts of low-quality lives. For instance, we can see the man working alone amid trees. Human beings require company, but employers ignore that essence. If the painting had to portray the high-income earners in the society, their scenario would be different and more people could have been shown. This is because high-income earners in the society are seen in groups discussing business or in celebrations. This happens because they have a lot of money to wine and dine at the expense of their poor laborers.

Is the artist portraying any of society’s problems? If so, how is she/he doing so?

The artist is portraying a societal problem because he is targeting poor people in society. The artist is trying to portray how peasant laborers work hard and get poor wages. For instance, the way he has shown the worker changing his posture to operate the cutter effectively, it is evident that he is struggling. Also, the painting can be shown as evidence of how much work the man is doing alone. The artist wants to show working conditions for peasant laborers (Brodskaïa 67). The man in the painting is alone in the midst of trees, and this proves that there is boredom in the workplace. These issues need to be addressed because peasant laborers are human beings just like the rich, therefore, their human needs to be respected.

Works Cited

Brodskaïa, Nathalia. Impressionism. London: Parkstone International, 2010. Print.

Pissarro, Joachim, Pissarro Camille and d’Orsay Musée. Pioneering modern painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865-1885. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2005. Print.

Sabbeth, Carol. Monet and the Impressionists for Kids: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2002. Print.

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"Impressionism: Pissarro's "The Woodcutter" Painting." IvyPanda, 18 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/impressionism-pissarros-the-woodcutter-painting/.

1. IvyPanda. "Impressionism: Pissarro's "The Woodcutter" Painting." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impressionism-pissarros-the-woodcutter-painting/.


IvyPanda. "Impressionism: Pissarro's "The Woodcutter" Painting." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impressionism-pissarros-the-woodcutter-painting/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Impressionism: Pissarro's "The Woodcutter" Painting." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impressionism-pissarros-the-woodcutter-painting/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Impressionism: Pissarro's "The Woodcutter" Painting'. 18 January.

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