PISSARRO, Orovida Camille

1893 - 1968

Orovido Pissarro

Orovida Camille Pissarro was born at Epping, Essex on 8 October 1893, only child of French artist Lucien Camille Pissarro (20 February 1863-10 July 1944) and his wife Esther née Bensusan (12 November 1870-20 November 1951) who married at Richmond, Surrey on 10 August 1892. Lucien had settled in England by 1890 and Orovida's mother Esther, was an engraver who was born at Dulwich, Surrey. In 1901, Orovida 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 Orovida Abigail Levy Bensusan (1841-30 July 1912), after whom young Orovida had been named. Orovida was educated at Norland Place School, Notting Hill, London and displayed her talent at an early age and the 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 (1860-1942), 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 and 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 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. Orovida Camille Pissarro died at 13 Redcliffe Gardens, London SW10 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. She signed her works 'Orovida'.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Maltings Farm, Thurston, Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk
1940 493 Autumn

Works by This Artist