Paulémile was born on 22 august 1884 in Eragny, the fifth and youngest son of Camille Pissarro. At the age of 15 Paulémile attended college in Gisors later leaving to join his father on painting trips to Le Havre and Rouen. For the last few years of Camille’s life the family lived in Paris where Paulémile attended a private academy.
Following his father’s death in 1903, Paulémile returned to Eragny with his mother, where his tuition as an artist continued with Monet, who lived only 20 miles away. He visited Giverny often where Monet gave him lessons on both painting and horticulture, saying “WORK! SEARCH! DO AS YOUR FATHER DID”.
In 1905 Paulémile exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, showing an impressionist landscape, Bords de l’Epte y Eragny.
Paulémile was exempt from military service due to his poor health and therefore used the war years to travel and paint, striving for individuality. During these years his confidence and passion for art grew even more; in a letter to Lucien (his brother) in 1916 he wrote “I have seen superb things - I am filled with enthusiasm,” and with Lucien’s help Paulémile exhibited in London at the New English Art Club, the Baillie Gallery and the Allied Artists Association.
By the 1920’s – 1930’s Paulémile had reached the peak of his artistic development, arriving at the individual style for which he is best known for. His compositions became strong and clear. Working from a boat he could focus on his favourite subject, reflections on calm water, returning again and again to Eragny where he had grown up and Clécy where he bought a house and lived with his wife Yvonne Beaupel.