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Lasting Impressions: The Pissarro Family Legacy


Lasting Impressions: The Pissarro Family Legacy
Jun 15 – Aug 19, 2007

The exhibition explores the rich artistic tradition of the Pissarro family through a selection of artwork created by Camille Pissarro, his sons, and their descendants (Lélia Pissarro, the great granddaughter of Camille will be attending the opening reception to give a lecture).

CLEVELAND – The Contessa Gallery at Legacy Village is pleased to announce an important and unique exhibition of artwork spanning four generations of the world’s most long-lived and productive family of artists. From Camille Pissarro, a senior figure of the Impressionist movement, through his five sons (Lucien, George-Henri Manzana, Felix, Ludovic-Rodo and Paulémile), who were all practicing artists, to several of his grandchildren and even one great grandchild, the creative impulse has been transmitted from generation to generation.

Carrying on the tradition of the patriarch Camille, the four generations of the Pissarros have produced stunning landscapes and portraits.  Though styles, techniques, and subject matter will differ with each artist, all of the artwork on exhibition displays a visual unity, and a direct link to Camille.

Camille Pissarro was a pivotal figure in the development of French painting during the second half of the nineteenth century. His painting influenced both Cezanne and Gauguin.  Pissarro, a great teacher, conducted an informal art school within his own family by creating an atmosphere where each of his sons could freely explore and participate in the world of painting and drawing.

Camille’s first son Lucien was very close to his father and started his creative activity at a very early age. His chosen means of expression was always the landscape. Only rarely did he produce still-lifes, and the handful of portraits that he painted were all of his family.

The second son George-Henri, better known as Manzana, also developed a great love of nature under the influence of his father.  His beautiful sense of design and color flows throughout his impressionistic landscapes, portraits of people, and his depiction of animals in their natural setting.

Though the impact of Camille’s art and teaching on his fourth son was considerable, Ludovic-Rodo aligned his own artwork more closely with artists like Toulouse-Lautrec. He found the nightlife of Paris, its cabarets, nightclubs and theatres, compelling subjects for painting. 

The last son Paulémile, an established Post-Impressionist artist, painted primarily landscapes and his favorite subject – reflections on calm water. Carrying on a family tradition, Paulémile frequently took his sons on painting excursions, forming yet another generation of the Pissarro family artists.  Sons H. Claude, known professionally as Isaac Pomié, and Yvon became very successful artists in their own right, as did their cousin Orovida Pissarro, the only child of Lucien.

Lélia Pissarro, the great granddaughter of Camille Pissarro, represents the fourth generation of this family of artists. Her elegant impressionistic landscapes have been exhibited in many cities throughout the world. Contessa Gallery is proud to welcome Lélia Pissarro for the opening reception of this exhibition of the four generations of Pissarro family artists.  She will speak on the art of the Pissarro family at a private lecture hosted by Contessa Gallery.