The Pagoda, Kew
Pissarro (painter, illustrator and typographer) was the eldest son of the Impressionist painter, Camille Pissarro. Taught by his father to paint, Lucien began his career as a landscape artist and in 1886 participated in the last Impressionist exhibition, exhibiting works in the pointillist style. He was one of the first to join the Neo-Impressionist movement and exhibited at the first Salon des Indépendants. In 1888 he exhibited with the avant-garde group Les Vingt in Brussels.
Pissarro moved permanently to England in 1890, setting up house in Epping and then Chiswick. He married Esther Bensusan (1870- 1951) in 1892 and one year later they had their first and only child, Orivida, who subsequently also became an artist. He became a British citizen in 1916, although he preferred to call himself a ‘Channel painter’, spending several months of each year in France. In 1894, he founded the Eragny Press (the name comes from a place near Dieppe), which played a significant role in the development of European book art. He ran the press with his wife Esther L. Bensusan until 1914.
Pissarro was a member of The New English Art Club (from 1906) and a founder member of The Camden Town Group of artists in 1911. He was also a founder member of The London Group in 1913 but resigned before the first exhibition in 1914. He held his first one-man exhibition at Carfax & Co. 1913.
In 1919, he formed the Monarro Group to propagate Impressionism in England, but the group ceased three years later. During his lifetime, retrospectives of his work were held at the Hampstead Art Gallery in 1920, at Manchester and Blackpool in 1935 and at the O’Hana Gallery in 1955. In 1943, he was represented in the exhibitions of Three Generations of Pissarro at Miller’s, Lewes, 1943, and the O’Hana Gallery in 1954. Pissarro died on 10 July, 1944. The Arts Council of Great Britain organised a centenary retrospective in 1963.
Wendy Baron, “Lucien Pissarro”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,, 2004-12
Christopher Lloyd, “Lucien Pissaro”, Grove Dictionary of Art, 2007-12