To many, it must have seemed that the long-anticipated 20th century was beginning in a less than auspicious manner. Within its first month Queen Victoria died (after a reign of 64 years) and before summer had ended America's 25th president, newly elected to a second term, died of an assassin's gunshot wound. (He lingered for more than a week before succumbing in the early hours of the morning of September 14.) To others, the new century was possibly seen as one of great promise, especially in terms of health and longevity: for the first time, advances in physics and medicine were recognized officially with a Nobel prize. William Roentgen was honored for his discovery of x-rays and Emil von Behring for his description of the diphtheria antitoxin. There were notable changes in the world of the fine arts as well: important new works by Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, and Gustav Klimt appeared, and Symbolism became the new synonym for avant-garde. But it must have been to Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) that the new century seemed the sweetest. Now entering his eighth decade, and only recently released from a lifetime of living just a step ahead of his creditors, he was painting with a vigor and freshness that belied the hardships of the past. His output, always high even in the bleakest of times, continued high and for the first time his work was selling well. If the past had been the time to weep and to sow, this was the time to rejoice and to reap. Vegetable Garden, Overcast Morning, Eragny (cover) is one of Pissarro's paintings of this year.
Southgate MT. Vegetable Garden, Overcast Morning, Eragny. JAMA. 2006;296(6):628. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.628
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