James Bolivar Manson and Lucien Pissarro met in 1910 when Manson was preparing an article about the impressionist painter. The two became close friends and allies over the coming years and Manson drew and painted the older artist several times, such as Lucien Pissarro Reading c.1913 (fig.1).
In this drawing Manson depicts his mentor reading a newspaper or periodical, his right hand raised as though he has just put his glasses on or is about to take them off. Above the sitter is a painting that looks to be his Compass Rocks, Dartmouth (private collection, reproduced in Anne Thorold ed., A Catalogue of the Oil Paintings of Lucien Pissarro, London 1983, no.352), which was painted in September 1922 while Pissarro was staying in Dartmouth in Devon. Pissarro stayed there until the end of the month at a house called Rosebank, close to Dartmouth Castle on the edge of the River Dart where it joins the English Channel. Manson was probably visiting his friend there when he made this drawing as is dated by the artist ‘Sep 1922’.
The drawing is on page 13 of 15 in a Cambridge ‘Pencil-Chalk’ sketchbook made by Madderton & Co., Loughton, Essex. Other drawings in the sketchbook depict figures and landscapes.
Helena Bonett July 2011
How to cite
James Bolivar Manson, Lucien Pissarro Reading in Dartmouth, Devon, September 1922, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/james-bolivar-manson-lucien-pissarro-reading-in-dartmouth-devon-r1104620, accessed 23 October 2021.