Pissarro, Lucien

Impressionism, the partakers of the expositions:

Lucien Pissarro


more than the son of Camille


Was Lucien Pissarro an Impressionist?
If Lucien Pissarro is mentioned in books on Impressionism, he is mentioned as a side figure, exhibiting only in 1886 at the last ‘impressionist’ exposition. He most of all is mentioned as the son of his famous father Camille with whom he wrote many letters. Most of his contacts with other ‘impressionists’ like Cézanne, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Vignon, Monet and Renoir were through his father. Being born in 1863 he is of a younger generation than most of the ‘impressionists’. He did have contacts with Neo-Impressionists like Signac and Seurat. So indeed Lucienne Pissarro can be seen as a side-figure of the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.
When we look at his painting style, Lucien Pissarro painted from 1885/86 till 1891/92 in a neo-impressionist style. After that he returned to an impressionist painting style, with which he had started, inspired by his father. He also would promote Impressionism in England. He painted on location and depicted the influence of weather and sunlight, something you can also see in the titles of his paintings. But when we look closely at his paintings his colours are often subdued and quite greyish. So we can say that mostly Lucien Pissarro painted in an impressionist painting style.

Lucien Pissarro only joined the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition:
At the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886 Lucien Pissarro showed probably 32 art-works, including 5 oil paintings, 13 watercolours and 14 woodcut engravings (catalogue numbers 114-123).
See link for an impression of his exhibited art-works in 1886. See link for an account.

Lucien Pissarro at other exhibitions:
Lucien Pissarro did not exhibit at the Salon (iR1). He did join the Salon des Independents (=SdI) from 1886-94 (R16;R55;R3;R88;iR3). 1887/12 he exhibited with Fénéon at La Revue Indépendante (R5,p157). He joined Les XX (=XX) in Brussels in 1888 (R3;R9;R88) and in 1890+92 (R125). 1894/02/15 he exhibited with ‘La Libre Esthétique’ (=LE) in Brussels (R5,p194). In 1895 Lucien joined the first Art-Nouveau exhibition at Bing in Paris (R3;R88). In 1906 Lucien Pissarro joined the New English Art Club, the NEAC (iR3;R55;R88), but already exhibited with them 1904 onwards (R88;iR14), untill (at least) 1938 (iR15;iR14). In 1907 Lucien Pissarro joined the 19, Fitzroy Street Group (R55;aR8;R88;iR14). In 1911 Lucien Pissarro was co-founder of the Camden Town Group (=CTG) (R3;R9;R55;iR3;R88;iR14), but it seems that he only exhibited in 1911 and 1912 (iR15;iR14). 1913/05 the 1st solo-exhibition of Lucien Pissarro was held at the Carfax Gallery in London (aR8;R88;R3). In 1913 he was co-founder of the London-group, but resigned before their first exhibition (aR8;R55). In 1919 Lucien Pissarro was co-founder of the Monarro Group (=MG), who promoted Impressionism in England; Lucien exhibited at least at the first exhibition in 1920; the group seized in 1922 (R3;R55;iR3;iR14). Lucien Pissarro exhibited several times at the Leicester Gallery (=LG) in London at least from 1922 till 1943; in January 1946 there was a Memorial exhibition held (iR15;iR14). In 1920 there was a retrospective exhibition held with paintings and drawings at the Hampstead Art Gallery (=HAG1920) in London (iR14). In 1935 there was a travelling exhibition held of ‘Oils, Watercolours and Drawings by Lucien Pissarro’ touring to Belfast, Gateshead, Rochdale and Manchester (=TE1935) (iR14;iR15).
See link for an impression of his exhibited art-works at other expositions. See link for an account.

Lucien Pissarro as an artist:
Already in his youth he joined his father Camille in his excurcions for painting in the open together with Cézanne, Guillaumin and Oller and later also with Gauguin and Vignon (R88). His father already depicted him drawing around 1874↓, when he was about 11 years old. Lucien started painting around 1880 (R88). He did so besides jobs he had, stimulated by his mother to have a more substantial income (R88). In 1883/84 during his stay in London, he was impressed by Whistler, Fisher and Millais (R88). From Legros he received advices, including to paint from memory and to study old masters and ancient art (R88). Back in Paris he worked for the printer Manzi-Joyant and started to make woodcuts (R3;R88). He was a pupil of Auguste Lepère (iR24;iR65;R89). In this early years Lucien used an impressionist painting style, using strokes and dashes of pure vibrant colours, rendering a luminous sense of light (iR14); see 8IE-1886-114↑. Around 1885 Lucien had contact with Signac and Seurat and he started to work in an divisionist style (R4,p255; R55;R56). Though it is said that Lucien was wary of the pure scientific aspects of colour theory (iR14), his use of cross-hatched dashes of red and green placed alongside seems to be allied to a knowledge of the principles of colour division (iR14; see CR10+19+25↑+34). The summer of 1886 he spent at Le Petit Andely with Signac (R89). He also had contacts with Dubois-Pillet, Luce and the writers Jules christophe and Fénéon (R88). He also was befriended was Vincent van Gogh (aR8). In the early 1890’s Lucien started to work again in a more classic impressionist style, using dashes and flecks instead of dots (R56). He remained faithful to the principles of his father’s Impressionism. Almost all of his paintings depict the landscape, and he worked directly in front of his subject, whether out of doors or looking through a window. He wanted to depict the effects of weather and sunshine. (aR8). He was a dilligent plein-airist depicted grey weather and sunny days (iR14). After his relocation to London 1890/11 he had contacts with Pré-Raphaelites, like Rossetti and Impressionists like Steer and Sickert (R88;R3).
Durand-Ruel bought many works of Lucien (R4,p270). He was appreciated by the art-critic Félix Fénéon (R9). Around 1926 Lucien had contact with Blanche Hoschedé, who inquired him of the severe illness of her stepfather, Monet (R22,p443).

Lucien Pissarro also was a wood engraver en printer:
Lucien Pissarro also made many woodcuts (1884 onwards) and litho’s (R9;iR24;iR3). He learned making woodcuts by Auguste Lepère around 1884 (R56;R89). In 1886 he made 5 woodcut illustrations for a novel of Octave Mirbeau called ‘Mait’Liziard’, they were exhibited at the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886 and in June published in La Revue Illustrée (R90II,p249;R89,p68; note Adler states it were 4 woodcuts).
Lucien Pissarro also illustrated and printed books (together with his wife Esther) (R9;iR24;aR8;iR3). In 1894 (or: 1895): Lucien started of the Eragny press together with his wife. It would last till World War I in 1914. Lucien published between 32 and 35 books. The first was  ’the queen of the fishes’. (aR10;R56;R3;R55;aR8;iR3;R88;iR14) His graphic style was influenced by the English Pre-Rafaëlites and the Arts and Crafts Movement, including William Morris (R56;iR14) and also by the Pointillists and Les Nabis (R88).

Lucien Pissarro, a small biography:

  • 1863/02/20: Lucien Pissarro was born at 23, Rue Neuve-Bréda in Paris (I can’t locate this address). He was the oldest son of famous Impressionist Camille Pissarro; his mother was Julie Vellay (1839-1926). (R116,I,p115;R5,p24;R3;R88;R13;iR24;aR8;iR3)
  • 1878-83: Lucien had several professions (R4,p195;R56;R3)
    His mother Julie said: ‘Art is for the rich’ (R4,p195)
  • 1883-84: Stayed with family in Holloway Road, north London (aR8;R3;R88;R89)
    During his time in London Lucien would write with his father Camille (R6,p243;R17;R88;R89)
    Lucien also would stimulate his father to exhibit in London (R8,p296)
  • 1884/Spring: returned to France (R89)
  • 1884-90: worked with the printer Manzi-Joyant in Paris (R3;R88); Wardwell Lee mentions he did so in 1887 (R56); Adler mentions he studied engraving under Lepère and later on learned the proces of colour blocks at the firm of Manzi (R89).
    Lucien also made illustrations for journals (R56)
  • Like his father, Lucien had socialist and anarchist sympathies (R55;aR8).
  • 1890/11: moved to England (R5,p176;R3;R9;R88)
  • contacts with the Pre-Rafaelites (R3), like Rossetti (R88)
    promotes (neo-)impressionism in England (R13)
    gave drawing lessons (R88)
    did engraving (R88)
    visited socialist conferences (R88)
  • 1892/08/11: Lucien married Esther-Levi Bensusan (1870-1951) in Richmond (R5,p185;R3;R88;aR8), a quarter of London (iR9).
    She also was an artist (iR65)
    According to other sources they married the 10th (iR3;aR8).
  • 1893/10/08: their only daughter Orovida was born (aR8;iR3;R88)
    They lived in Epping, Essex, just north of London (iR3;aR8;R88)
    Their daughter Orovida would become an etcher (iR65;iR3).
  • 1897: Lucien suffered a stroke; he didn’t paint much until 1905 (aR8)
  • 1897: the family moved to 62, Bath Road, Stamford Brook, Chiswick, west London (aR8;iR3)
  • 1902: works with his father Camille in Éragny (R3)
  • 1902: the family moved to (closeby) 27 Stamford Brook Road, the Brook, Hammersmith in London (aR8;R3;R88); note: the Stamford Brook road lies (nowadays) just outside the quarter Hammersmith and inside the quarter Chiswick (iR9)
  • 1916/07: received the English citizenship (aR8;R3;R88;R9;R16;iR24;iR65;iR3)
  • 1940: Moves to Hewood (R3)
  • 1944/07/10: Lucien Pissarro died in Hewood (Dorset) (R9;iR24;iR3), also spelled as Herwood (in Somerset) (R13;R16); according to other sources he died in Chard (R88I,p669). Hewood is part of Chard, lying in Somerset, but Hewood itself seems to lie in Dorset (iR9).
  • There was no posthumous auction sale (iR65).
  • 1950: The family archive was donated to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (aR8;aR10;M66).

My main sources are Meadmore (1962=R312), Rewald (1973=R1), Moffett (1986, R2), Walther (2013, R3,p688), Denvir (1993, R5), Schurr & Cabanne (2008=R9,p593), Spiess (1992, R16,p270), AtotZ (R13,p571), Wildenstein (1996=R22I), House (1979=R55,p115-6), Wardwell Lee (1988=R56,p53-55), Monneret (1978-81=R88I,p669-672), Adler (1988=R89,p68), the Salon database (iR1), WikiPedia (iR3), archive.org (=iR19), RKD (iR24), BNF (iR26+iR40), marques (iR65) and the additional references (=aRx). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are the-Athenaeum (iR2), Wikimedia (iR6), mutualart (iR11), Sothebys (iR14), Christies (iR15), Joconde (iR23), Meisterdrucke (iR155), Google images (iR10), the Ashmolean (M66), VGM Amsterdam (M73) and the additional references (aRx). In books on Impressionism there is just a single picture of Lucien Pissarro: Walther 2x (R3), Denvir 2×1 (R5+R8), Pool 1x (R6), Schurr&Cabanne 1x (R9).  For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
Further reading:
W.S. Meadmore: Lucien Pissarro, un coeur simple. London, 1962 (=R312iR10;R3;R56;iR24).
Pickvance, R. (ed.): Lucien Pissarro; a centenary exhibition. The Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1963 (R3;R56;iR10;iR3)
: Lucien Pissarro. London 1977 (iR10).
David Chambers: notes on a selection of Wood-Blocks. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1980/1 (iR10;R3).
John Rewald (ed.): Camille Pissarro, letters to his son Lucien. New York, 1943 / 1981 (R56;iR10;iR3).
Anne Thorold: A Catalogue of Oil Paintings by Lucien Pissarro. London, 1983 (R125;iR10;R3;R56;iR24;iR3). Noted as CR.
Lora Urbanelli: Book Art of Lucien Pissarro. London, 1997 (iR10).
Gilman, Harold, Spencer F. Gore: Lucien Pissarro et le Post-Impressionnisme Anglais. Exhibition catalogue. Musée de Pontoise, 1998 (iR10;iR24).
Drawings, watercolours, Oil Paintings, Woodcuts and Etchings by Lucien Pissarro 1863-1944. London, 2003 (iR10;iR3).
Lucien Pissarro in England, the Ergagny Press 1895-1914. Exhibition catalogue. Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2011 (iR24)
Camille y Lucien Pissarro; Cartas 1883-1903. Madrid, 2013 (iR10).
Mothe, Alain, Emily Cox, Richard R. Brettell, Anne Thorold, Françoise Waro: Les Pissarro, une famille d’artistes au tournant des XIXe et XXe siècles. Exhibition catalogue. Musée de Pontoise, 2015 (iR24).

Additional references:

  1. National Gallery Victoria Melbourne (10 works of Lucien Pissarro)
  2. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (several works of Lucien Pissarro)
  3. Getty images (several works of Lucien Pissarro)
  4. artuk.org (>100 works of Lucien Pissarro; with detailed information; =iR173)
  5. issuu.com (preview of Camille y Lucien Pissarro; Cartas 1883-1903. Madrid, 2013. In Spanish. with reproductions of works.)
  6. tate.org.uk (works of Lucien Pissarro)
  7. vangoghmuseum.nl (4 woodcuts made for Mirbeau, see 1886-122)
  8. tate.org.uk (biography about Lucien Pissarro by David Fraser Jenkins and Helena Bonett)
  9. data.bnf.fr (=iR26; info and works of Lucien Pissarro)
  10. mutualart (article on an exhibition about the Eragny Press in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 2011; =iR11;M66)
  11. “Lucien Pissarro.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Jun 22, 2020. http://exhibitions.univie.ac.at/person/ulan/500028996  =iR261; overview of contributions of Lucien Pissarro in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915 (31 entries)
  12. archive.org/ia801507 (PDF Rewald, John: Camille Pissarro: Letters to his son Lucien. New York, 1943; =iR19=R269)
  13. archive.org/ia600200 (PDF Queen of the fishes; Eragny Press, 1894, with woodcuts by Lucien Pissarro; =iR19=iR72=M33)
  14. archive.org/ia600908 (PDF Moore, Thomas Sturge: a brief account of the origin of the Eragny Press. 1903; =iR19)
  15. x



Recommanded citation: Lucien Pissarro, more than the son of Camille. Last modified 2022/12/31. https://www.impressionism.nl/pissarro-lucien/

Citation: Please do not quote from this webpage, which is under construction. The information is incomplete and maybe partly incorrect.