White Frost, 1873 by Camille Pissarro

White Frost, 1873 by Camille Pissarro
Courtesy of www.diego-velazquez.org

The reinstitution of the first Salon since the Commune was announced in December 1871. Pissarro, Monet and Sisley, who did not agree with the new rules, refused to submit their work. Renoir presented a number of paintings only to be rejected by the jury, and since the Salon des Refuses had been discontinued he was unable to exhibit his work. In 1873 the same situation occurred, but as a result of the large number of rejected artists the Salon des Refuses was reinstated.

Pissarro was still not satisfied and devoted much thought to finding an alternative to the Salon. He imagined the best arrangement would be a society where artists could exhibit and sell their work independently, without the help of dealers, thus allowing each artist to exhibit as many paintings as he chose. Despite much discouragement, and warnings from his friends, Pissarro persisted with his plans and the formation of a co-operative society was announced in La Chronique des Arts on 17 January 1874.

The first exhibition, which opened for a month on 15 Aptil 1874, was held at the studio of Nadar, the photographer, at 35 Boulevard des Capucines. Thirty artists exhibited at this, the First Impressionist Exhibition. Among them were Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Monet, Renoir, Morisot and Sisley.

White Frost was one of the five paintings that Pissarro chose to show. The crowds poured in, but very few of them were complimentary, most jeered and scoffed at what they saw, and this work was one of the many paintings ridiculed in the press.