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Lucien Pissarro, Portrait of Orovida Pissarro

Portrait of Orovida Pissarro, 1918

Lucien Pissarro (1863 - 1944)

RA Collection: Art

This portrait offers a glimpse of the artist’s daughter Orovida, a young woman in her twenties. She was herself an artist and exhibited prodigious talent from a young age. Her precociousness was such that it caused her grandfather, the renowned Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, to praise artworks made when she was as young as five years old.

Orovida received little formal artistic training, instead taking instruction from her father during her teens. However, by the time this portrait was made she had abandoned the Impressionist style encouraged by her family, developing her unique style that was strongly influenced by Persian, Chinese and Indian art. Around this time she also started signing her works with only her first name, simply as ‘Orovida’. This marked a professional dissociation from her family, a statement of her determination to establish her own style and not rely on the success of the Pissarro name.

Contrastingly to the artistic preference of the sitter, this portrait is painted in the artist’s characteristic Impressionist style. Pissarro makes subtle use of a limited colour palette and builds the scene with small flecks of paint, showing individual brushstrokes. Orovida appears deep in concentration, lost in the act of drawing or painting. The mirror behind her reveals the room, allowing the artist to extend the pictorial space, uncovering a reflective snapshot of the domestic scene.

Object details

Portrait of Orovida Pissarro
Lucien Pissarro (1863 - 1944)
Object type
Copyright owner
Oil on canvas

534 mm x 433 mm x 19 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Bequeathed by Carel Weight RA 1999

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