1863–1944, France

Also known as: LP

Birth 1863
Died 1944

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 the constant encouragement, advice and instruction of his father, Lucien began to draw and paint.

Lucien was 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, and their friendship with those artists was very influential. 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 the country. On his return to France in the spring of 1884, his 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. He moved to England permanently in 1890, married English girl, Esther Bensusan in 1892 and in 1894 by founded the Eragny Press in Hammersmith, which published 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 producing still-lifes, and the handful of portraits that he painted were all of his family.

Of all Camille’s children, Lucien was perhaps the closest to his father. After Lucien’s first visit to England, Camille initiated a long and almost daily correspondence with his son, and those letters constitute an important document in the history of Impressionism.


Lucien Pissarro est un artiste français né en 1863 et décédé en 1944. Influencé par l’impressionnisme et le néo-impressionnisme, il est surtout connu pour ses paysages, ses natures mortes et ses portraits. Fils de Camille Pissarro, il pratique la peinture mais également la gravure. Lucien Pissarro apprend auprès de son père et est très influencé par le travail de Seurat et de Signac. Il expose aux côtés des artistes impressionnistes en 1886, et au Salon des Indépendants, régulièrement entre 1886 et 1894. Dès 1890, il s’installe et travaille en Angleterre. Deux ans plus tard il épouse Esther Bensusan. En 1893, ils donnent naissance à leur fille unique Orovida Camille Pissarro. Lucien Pissarro réalise des illustrations pour des ouvrages. En 1906 il devient membre du New English Art Club. Entre 1913 et 1919, il peint des paysages anglais de Dorets, de Westmorland, de Devon, de l’Essex, du Surrey et du Sussex. En 1916, il obtient la nationalité britannique. Il fonde le Camden Town Group, puis en 1919 le Monarro Group. Entre 1922 et 1937, il peint dans le sud de la France. Dès 1934, il expose à la Royal Academy de Londres pendant 10 ans. En 1944, il décède à Hewood.