decorate initial 'L'ucien Pissarro was twenty years old when he left his parents' home to try his luck in England.... [11]

It was no easy matter for Lucien, shy and given to dreaming as he was, to leave the house of his parents at Osny near Pontoise, where his brothers and his sister spent their carefree youth in the fields and meadows while their father noted with unconcealed joy the capacities for observation and expression which he found in each of them. Lucien himself had begun to draw at a very early age and, when sent to work in Paris for a firm merchandising English fabrics, he spent the evenings with his friend Louis Hayet making drawings in the cafes and music halls. His mother, who knew only too well the sufferings artists have to endure, had wanted at all costs to prevent her eldest son from choosing his father's "profession." However, the young man's employer soon informed the parents that their boy, although in other respects a fine fellow, would never make good in business. After this, Lucien got a job working with hand-made plates for color impressions. His parents finally decided, by the end of 1882, to send him to England to learn the language. In London he found a position with a music publisher, but continued to paint and draw. First he lived at the home of his uncle, Phineas Isaacson, whose wife was the half-sister of Camille Pissarro. Later he took a studio, gave drawing lessons and devoted himself mostly to the art of wood engraving (11).

Lucien Pissarro often came to France to spend months at a time with his family, which meanwhile had settled in Eragny.... [12]

Lucien's Portrait of Camille Pissarro, woodcut. Source: Pissarro, facing p. 273.

[He] adopted neo-impressionism with his father and was closely linked with the originators of the movement. He worked at his father's side and was the first of Camille Pissarro's sons to exhibit with him. When Lucien finally settled in London and set up the press on which he published superb works illustrated with his own woodcuts or engravings of his father's drawings, he called it the Eragny-Press in honor of the village where his parents lived, Eragny being for him a symbol of sincere and careful workmanship. Thus Lucien went his own way, painting, drawing, working on his books in close collaboration with his wife, introducing in his turn his only child to the delights of art. [15-16]


Rewald, John. Introduction. Letters to his Son Lucien. Ed. Rewald with the assistance of Lucien Pissarro. 2nd ed. New York: Pantheon, 1943. 11-17. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Guggenheim Library. Web. 11 August 2020.

Created 11 August 2020