In 1883 Durand-Ruel organized an exhibition of Impressionist paintings in London which was only moderately successful. When Lucien Pissarro discussed the question of such shows with his father, the latter wrote him, in the fall of that same year:
"You tell me that I should send my best things to London, if I show there [again]. That sounds simple enough, but when one reflects and asks oneself: 'What are the best things ? one is, you may believe me, greatly perplexed. Didn't I have in London the Peasant Woman Taking Her Morning Coffee near a Window and the Girl with a Stick Alas, I shall never do more careful, more finished work. Nevertheless, these paintings were regarded as uncouth in London. So it is not improper selection that explains why my work offends English taste. -Remember that I have a rustic temperament, that I am melancholy, that my paintings have a harsh and savage aspect. Only in the long run can I expect to please, provided those who look at my pictures have a grain of indulgence; but the eye of the passer-by is too hasty and sees only the surface—being in a hurry, he will not stop for me!...
"I have just concluded my series of paintings; I look at them constantly. I who made them sometimes find them horrible. I understand them only at rare moments, a long time after having finished and lost sight of them, on days when I feel kindly disposed and fairly merciful toward their poor maker. Sometimes I am horribly afraid to turn a canvas around. I always fear to find a monster in the place of the precious gem I thought I had created!... Thus it does not astonish me at all that the critics in London relegate me to the lowest rank. Alas! I fear that they are only too justified. - However, at times I come across works of mine that are soundly done and truly in my style; and in such moments I really find great solace. But no more of that. Painting, art in general, enchants me. It is my life. What else matters? When you put all your soul into a work, all that is noble in you, you cannot fail to find a kindred spirit who understands you; one doesn't need legions of them. Is that not all an artist should wish for?"
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
Leonardo da Vinci