Lifelong San Francisco resident. Co-founder of San Francisco Art Association in 1871. Studied at Academie Julian in Paris 1871-1875. Brother of Albert Pissis, well known San Francisco architect. Lived very comfortably; resident of Pleasant Street on Nob Hill before the 1906 earthquake. Never married, never sold a picture, rarely exhibited. Lost many works in 1906 fire. Pissis was cremated and his ashes thrown to the winds above Marin County by airplane.