REPRESENTING WORKS BY THE PISSARRO FAMILY
HUGUES CLAUDE PISSARRO
1935 - PRESENT
Hugues Claude Pissarro, also known professionally as Isaac Pomié, is the grandson of the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro and son of the artist Paulemile Pissarro. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 9 November 1935, steeped in this artistic environment, he inevitably spent his childhood and youth with brushes in his hand. Carrying on a family tradition established by Camille Pissarro, Paulemile, accompanied by his numerous artist friends, frequently took his sons on painting excursions which were to prove formative for H. Claude.
Although he is at present best known for his style of impressionism, Claude experimented with different contemporary movements before confirming his preference for impressionism in later life. Predestined by his educational background to become a professor of art for much of his professional life, his temperament was notably molded by formal training at prestigious French establishments such as the “Ecole du Musée du Louvre” and, in particular, at the “Ecole Normale Supérieure”.
Based in his Normandy studio, Claude maintains a frenetic pace of activity, frequently working well into the night, producing the large canvases, which have become his trademark. His distinctive style is realized by applying colors with great speed straight from the tube to achieve a thick, robust texture and then scraping some of it away once it is dry.
Claude appreciates the advantage that his family legacy has given him in his painting. “My family history helped me in that I had, from the beginning, a certain familiarity with artistic expression. I was born in a painting environment.” Although his family ties have been a blessing to him, Claude also acknowledges the challenges of living under the shadow of this artistic heritage. “I was born into the cult of my grandfather. My methods of investigation clashed with an attitude, which regarded everything connected with my grandfather’s life and work as sacred. At the end of the day, I remove my grandfather from his pedestal. Only then am I able to discover him, meet with him, and get to know and love him.”
1884 - 1972
As the last child of Camille Pissaro, Paulemile was undoubtedly close to his father. He saw him at the height of his powers, when he was utilizing his lifetime interest in artistic experimentation to create paintings that reflected his fascination with color and movement.
Paulemile was nurtured in an artistic atmosphere where creativity reigned. He enjoyed a childhood watching his father paint, following him around with an easel in the gardens at Eragny, attending school in Gisors, and indulging a growing interest in artistic matters on his own. However, when Paulemile was nineteen, his desire to paint was shattered by the death of his father. The devastating loss took him years to overcome.
Surrendering the dream to become an artist just like his father was extremely difficult for Paulemile. He worked for a while as an automobile mechanic and later as a textile designer. But he couldn’t ignore his passion for art and it soon led him to settle in a region near Chartres, where he began to create watercolors.
With the guidance of Claude Monet, one of his father’s closest friends, Paulemile rediscovered his artistic destiny. Monet urged him to become a landscape painter, to follow the lead of his father and the other Impressionists, and to maintain his family’s legacy.
Around 1914, Paulemile dedicated himself to the life of a painter. He continually enjoyed painting beautiful scenes along the Lieure River, where he was captivated by the light effects that the Impressionists had used. He translated what he saw directly onto the canvas with what could be described as a form of visual shorthand. In the tranquility of the countryside, Paulemile created numerous poetic studies that captured the charms of simple villages, rural farms, the changing seasons, old bridges, and picturesque roadways. He also traveled extensively throughout France, thriving on finding new sites to study, new atmospheric conditions, and subtle nuances of light that could often intensify his colors.