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  • Writer's pictureAnn Saul

Richard R. Brettell 1949-2020

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Richard R. Brettell Photo: UTDallas


Richard Brettell’s many achievements in the world of art history and museums are being remembered and celebrated today. Perhaps his greatest gift is the tremendous body of knowledge he left us about the life and work of Camille Pissarro. He began his career with Pissarro and his exploration of the artist’s life and work continued throughout his life.

His dissertation became a book on Pissarro’s early life in Pontoise with transformative research that continues to inform investigative study today. His work on Pissarro includes an exhibition on Pissarro’s city paintings of Paris, Rouen, London, Dieppe and Le Havre. His exploration of Pissarro’s figure paintings in the exhibition Pissarro’s People revealed the artist’s personal values as much as his distinctive technique. More recently in Paris, his exhibition of Pissarro’s paintings at Éragny-sur-Epte displayed an amazing variety of motifs and artistic techniques. These examples are just a few of his body of work on Pissarro. In many of his books and exhibitions, he collaborated with Joachim Pissarro, great grandson of the artist, a reflection of their long friendship.

It is for this immeasurable gift of knowledge on Pissarro that I pay tribute to Richard Brettell and remember him today.  Thank you, Rick.

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