PISSARRO, Orivida Camille

1893 - 1968

Orovida Pissarro was born at Epping, Essex on 8 October 1893, only child of French artist Lucien Camille Pissarro (1863-1944) and his wife Esther née Bensusan (1870-1951), Lucien had settled in England in 1890 and her mother Esther was an engraver, who was born at Dulwich, Surrey. In 1901 Orivida was a 7 year old living at 62 Bath Road, Chiswick, Middlesex with her parents, 38 year old Lucien and 30 year old Esther and in 1911 they were living at Stamford Brook, Chiswick together with a 68 year old unmarried great-aunt Orivida Bensusan (1842-), after whom young Orivda had been named. Orovida displayed her talent at a young age and drawings by the five-year-old earned praise from her renowned grandfather Camille Pissarro. Orovida studied oil painting with her father during her teens and in 1913 briefly studied with Walter Sickert, before renouncing formal art training. For most of her career she distanced herself from the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist styles of her father, and grandfather in favour of a technique influenced by Chinese and other Asiatic art painting with thin washes of gouache or tempera on silk, linen, paper, and gold leaf with her paintings amd etchings depicting primarily Asian subject matter. Another favorite subject was Mongolian horsemen hunting wild animals, others included Persian princes and African dancers. In the last quarter of her career she developed a manner which drew on both traditions with her work becoming more naturalistic and somewhat more akin to the Pissarro tradition with her Asiatic leanings with a more substantial European look. The result has been compared to dry fresco. Her subject matter during this period includes portraits of family and friends, royalty, and especially all kinds of cats from domestic to wild. Although she lived primarily in London throughout her life in 1939 she was a 'professional artist' living at Malting Farm, Barton Road, Thurston, Suffolk, the home of John Bekassy and his wife. She died on 8 August 1968. Her mother had established the Pissarro family archive at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and Orovida played a significant role in developing it.[







Works by This Painter