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Mme Pissarro sewing

Photo credit: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

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Julie Vellay (1839–1926) was a servant in Pissarro's parents' home in Paris. She was neither Jewish nor educated and therefore Pissarro's parents refused him permission to marry her, although she was already pregnant in 1860. This tiny portrait was painted in 1860 and reflects the intimate tone and sombre colouring of Corot's portraits. The couple were eventually married in London in 1871.

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology



c. 1860


oil on panel


H 16 x W 11 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by the Pissarro Family, 1952

Work type



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The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Beaumont Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2PH England

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