Born on the island of St. Thomas in 1830, Camille Pissarro became a master of the Impressionist movement whose influence extended to not only his contemporaries in Paris, where his career blossomed, but also to his own immediate family. Pissarro learned to paint by carefully observing the changing light during different times of day and different seasons, a legacy he passed on to all those who studied under him.
Of Pissarro’s seven children, four of his sons grew to be respected artists in their own right; Lucien, Ludovic-Rodo, Georges Henri and Paulémile. Lucien, the eldest, was skilled in a variety of media, ranging from oils and watercolors to engravings and lithographs. Aside from studying under his father, he also surrounded himself with such figures as Paul Signac and Georges Seurat. The pointillist style practiced by these two masters affected Lucien’s style, as well as his father’s.
Though Lucien eventually moved to London permanently, playing a large role in spreading the Impressionist movement in Britain, the majority of Camille’s other artistic protégés remained closer to home. Georges Henri, who went by the alias “Manzana” in his earlier years, was a prolific painter and decorative artist who regularly exhibited paintings in the avant-garde galleries and exhibitions across Paris, including but not limited to the “Salon d’Automne” and the “Salon de Independents.”
Georges Henri’s next closest brother, Ludovic-Rodo, was a figure in the anti-academic Parisian art world; his first woodcuts were published in the anarchist journal Le Pere Peunard. Rodo and the youngest Pissarro brother, Paulémile, lived in the Montmarte region and frequented the nightlife and cafe scene there, coming into contact with such Fauvists as Maurice Vlaminck, Kees Van Dongen and Raoul Dufy.
Paulémile’s oldest child, Hugues Claude, who was named after his godfather, Claude Monet, was born in 1935 and is still actively painting. Initially taught by his father, Hugues first exhibited his work at the age of fourteen. He subsequently studied art in Paris at prestigious establishments such as Ecole du Musée du Louvre and, in particular, at Ecole Normale Supérieur, a unique French institution dedicated to the pursuit of achievement and excellence to which only the academic elite have access. Hugues youngest child, Lélia was born in 1963. She has been painting since she was four and was educated by her grandfather, Paulémile. Her interest in drawing and painting was nurtured by her grandfather, who taught her the fundamental impressionist and post-impressionist techniques.