Christiane-Clarissa James was born in Munich in 1972. She is a classically trained artist with an interest both in Renaissance and 19th Century techniques.
A native Austrian, Clarissa grew up in Munich, Germany where she became involved in films at an early age. Following her childhood dream, she moved to London after finishing her formal education, to work for Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Her love for drawing and painting was first inspired by a visit to the Watts Gallery near Guilford. She followed this initial impulse by researching drawing techniques in the London museums, spending time studying anatomy at the UCL Medical School and eventually moving to Florence to train at The Florence Academy of Art. From there she went on to spend several summers at the summer studio of renowned Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum.
Clarissa's work hangs in private collections in Europe, the US, Japan and South Africa. In 2006 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and won the Cornelissen & Son Prize for the most outstanding work in that year’s annual exhibition. In 2009 she has been elected to Full Membership of the ROI. Recently Clarissa completed a six-month residency at Guest painter in Lord Leighton’s Studio at Leighton House Museum, London.
Clarissa currently works from her studios in London and Austria.