Lucien Pissarro Paintings fetch $145,000 Wed, 13 Aug 2003
Fine Art Auction 31 July
Campagne Orovida, Fenouils et Amandier
Oil on canvas 65.5 x 54
Signed, dated 1934
Title inscribed verso
Brookleton Yulgreave - August
Oil on canvas 52.5 x 43
Signed, dated 1928
It is once again a pleasure and privilege to feature the works of British/French impressionist Lucien Pissarro. On this occasion we have two works of impeccable provenance never before offered for sale by auction.
Lucien Pissarro was born in Paris in 1863, the eldest son of Camille Pissarro and Julie Vellay. In 1870 the family fled to London during the Franco-Prussian war, returning to Louveciennes in June 1871 and shortly after moving to Pontoise. It was here as a child that Lucien was in the constant company of his father's peers Cézanne, Manet and Monet in particular. In such surroundings, and nurtured by constant encouragement, advice and instruction of his father, Lucien began to draw and paint. He became skilled as a painter in oils and watercolour, a wood engraver and a lithographer.
In 1885, Camille and Lucien met Paul Signac and Georges Seurat, their friendship with those artists was very influential upon there work. When Lucien participated with his father in the eighth Impressionist Exhibition of 1886, their experiments with the Divisionism of Signac and Seurat were apparent.
A visit to England in 1883 marked the beginning of a long association with that country. On his return to France in the spring of 1884, Lucien?s activities rapidly expanded and he became interested in the making of children?s books, studying the technique of wood engraving and learning the process of printing colour blocks. Moving to England permanently in 1890, Lucien married an English girl Esther Bensusan in 1892. They founded the Eragny Press, Hammersmith in 1894, publishing limited editions of beautifully illustrated books. Several titles were published between 1894 and 1914, the first being ?Queen of the Fishes?.
Lucien's work is fascinating for its combination of two artistic traditions the French and the English. As the son of Camille and a first hand witness of the Impressionist movement, he played a vital role in securing the acceptance of Impressionism in England. He was a founder member of the Camden Town Group, but when that was absorbed into the London Group he withdrew. From 1913-19, he recorded the English landscape of Dorset, Westmorland, Devon, Essex, Surrey and Sussex without theatrical or romantic overtones, and in 1916 he became a naturalised British subject.
In 1922 he made the first of many prolonged visits to the South of France and these visits continued until 1937, interspersed with seasons in Derbyshire, South Wales and Essex. To the end, landscape remained his chosen means of expression, only rarely did he produce still-lifes, and the handful of portraits that he painted were all of the Pissarro family.