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Georges Henri Pissarro, better known as 'Manzana', was born in Louveciennes, the third of Camille Pissarro and Julie Vellay’s seven children. Like all second generation Pissarro artists, Georges initially worked under a pseudonym. In 1894 he adopted 'Manzana', the family name of his maternal grandmother. It was not until 1910, out of respect to his then deceased father, that he employed his own family name when signing his work.
Manzana studied with his father from a very early age and, like Lucien, spent his formative years surrounded by distinguished artists of the Impressionist movement – Monet, Cézanne, Renoir and Gauguin – who frequented the Pissarro home. At his father's side he learnt not only to handle brush and pencil but also to observe and to love nature.
Steeped in tradition and subjected to diverse influences, Manzana became a prolific and versatile artist, producing works in oil, pastel and watercolour. As a young man, he adopted his father's purely Impressionist style and produced a series of landscapes around Pontoise and Eragny. However, around 1906, he progressed beyond his roots and went in search of a means of expression via furniture design and decorative objects. Gauguin's exotic native scenes from Tahiti and Martinique influenced Manzana's Orientalism, manifesting in works incorporating gold, silver and copper paint.
During the early 1900s, Manzana exhibited Impressionist works at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendents, as well as Durand Ruel and Druet in Paris. In 1907, he had his first exhibition of decorative works at Vollard. It was in 1914, however, that he had the most important exhibition of his career at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, where he exhibited 311 works including tapestries, carpets, furniture, glassware, decorative paintings, etchings and lithographs.
Manzana continued to exhibit work regularly until the late 1930s, splitting his time between Les Andelys and Paris. He also spent several summers at Pont Aven in Brittany, where the local costume and lifestyle inspired a series of paintings in the 1930s. At the declaration of war in 1939, Manzana moved with his family to Casablanca, where he stayed until 1947.
Manzana was married and widowed three times. He spent the last years of his life with Félix, his youngest son who was also an accomplished artist, in Menton, returning to the Impressionist tradition and painting the local landscape.
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