Artist Biography

1854 - 1934

Emile M. Pissis (1854-1934), muralist, painter, and monotypist was born in San Francisco, California on March 10, 1854, the son of Dr. José Pissis of Paris. Emile was a lifelong resident of San Francisco and a cofounder of the San Francisco Art Ass'n in 1871. In that year he went to Paris for four years of study at Académie Julian. A man of wealth, he never sold a picture and seldom exhibited. He remained a bachelor and spent his leisure roaming the Marin hills, fishing, hunting, and painting. Many of his landscapes and portraits were lost in the 1906 earthquake and fire. His brother, Albert, was a well-known San Francisco architect who designed the Emporium, Flood Bldg, Pacific Union Club, Hibernia Bank, and the Mercantile Trust Bldg before his death in 1916. Emile Pissis maintained a luxurious Nob Hill studio-apartment at 18 Pleasant Street until his death on June 9, 1934. He was cremated and his ashes thrown to the winds above Marin County by airplane. Exhibited: Mechanics' Institute Fair, (San Francisco) 1896. Works held: Society of California Pioneers; California Historical Society

Return to artwork page.