School of Paris (French: École de Paris) refers to the French and émigré artists who worked in Paris in the first half of the 20th century.
Term applied to the loose affiliation of artists working in Paris from the 1920s to the 1950s It was first used by the critic André Warnod in Comoedia in the early 1920s as a way of referring to the non-French artists who had settled and worked in Paris for some years, many of whom lived either in Montmartre or Montparnasse, and who included a number of artists of Eastern European or Jewish origin.
From c 1900 a number of major artists had been attracted to the capital because of its reputation as the most vital international centre for painting and sculpture; these included Picasso, Gris and Miró from Spain, Chagall, Soutine and Lipchitz from Russia or Lithuania, Brancusi from Romania and Modigliani from Italy The prominence of Jewish artists in Paris and of foreign artistic influences in general began by c 1925 to cause intense resentment and led to the foreigners being labelled as ‘Ecole de Paris’ in contrast to French-born artists such as André Derain and André Dunoyer de Segonzac, who were said to uphold the purity and continuity of the French tradition After World War II, however, these nationalistic and anti-Semitic attitudes were discredited, and the term acquired a more general use to denote both foreign and French artists working in Paris
The School of Paris was not a single art movement or institution, but refers to the importance of Paris as a center of Western art in the early decades of the 20th century. Between 1900 and 1940 the city drew artists from all over the world and became a centre for artistic activity. School of Paris was used to describe this loose community, particularly of non-French artists, centered in the cafes, salons and shared workspaces and galleries of Montparnasse.
Before World War I the name was also applied to artists involved in the many collaborations and overlapping new art movements, between post-Impressionists and pointillism and Orphism, Fauvism and Cubism. In that period the artistic ferment took place in Montmartre and the well-established art scene there. But Picasso moved away, the war scattered almost everyone, by the 1920s Montparnasse become a center of the avant-garde. After World War II the name was applied to another different group of abstract artists.
The generic term “School of Paris” poses a problem when used to designate a particular group of artists. In reality, it does not refer to any school that actually existed; the expression, which has been the subject of improper use, remains ambiguous and deserves to be made explicit.
In her Dictionary of Painters of the School of Paris (1993), Lydia Harambourg justifies the use of the term by the continuity it allows to establish between the different phases of development of modern art on the part of artists having had Paris for residence. His book does not present a school or a particular current, but twenty years of painting in Paris
“The term School of Paris will be kept, because no other can better designate, in these post-war years, the supremacy of the capital in art. ”
In this sense, the School of Paris brings together the artists who helped make Paris the home of artistic creation until the 1960s.
There are generally three major periods of change in the Parisian art world in xx th century, each one the manifestation of a renewal of the previous one. The first period goes from 1900 to the 1920s, the second covers the inter-war period and the last refers to the post- World War II period.
Lazar Meyer, born January 20, 1847 in Fegersheim (Alsace) and came to settle in Paris for political and religious reasons in 1870, is a French painter, considered one of the first precursors of the School of Paris. He was one of the first painters to come to Montmartre. He was first pupil of Alexandre Laemlein, then of Alexandre Cabanel and Émile Lévy.
The historian and art critic Adrian M. Darmon 2, notes that the term “School of Paris” was used before the First World War by certain newspapers from across the Rhine when they pointed out the avant-garde trends opposed to German expressionism.
On January 27, 1925, André Warnod used the expression “School of Paris” for the first time in France, in an article in the literary magazine Comœdia (founded by Gaston de Pawlowski in 1907). It thus refers to all the foreign artists arrived in the early xx th century in the capital in search of favorable conditions for their art. From 1900 to the First World War, Paris saw the influx of artists, often from Central Europe, who settled mainly in Montparnasse. Among them, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Pinchus Kremegne, Chaim Soutine, Pascin, Amadeo Modigliani, Kees van Dongen, Moïse Kisling, Alexander Archipenko, Joseph Csaky, Ossip Zadkine and Tsugouharu Foujita, to name only the most famous. The expression “School of Paris” thus acquires a proper and commonly accepted meaning.
Jewish artists of the School of Paris
Many are the Jewish painters of the School of Paris. These artists come from the East: Russia, Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary. They were familiar with the French masters of the xix th century and know the Impressionists through their teachers, such Józef Pankiewicz in Krakow, Ilya Repin in St. Petersburg, Adolf Fényes, Isaac Perlmutter atBudapest and Lovis Corinth in Berlin. Most of them are about 20 years old, they are actors of the Jewish emancipation and participate in the movement of social and intellectual awakening in Europe which is characterized by the loss of the religious and the political commitment, and are in coincidence with the cosmopolitan context of the great capitals of the time, Vienna, Berlin and especially Paris. They will be more than five hundred painters 3 in the Paris of the interwar period, forming a network of friendship and, step by step, is knowing all.
The 1914-1918 war soon dispersed them, sending Rudolf Levy, Walter Bondy and Otto Freundlich back to Germany. Leopold Gottlieb left to join the army of Marshal Pilsudski in Poland. Marc Chagall, Emmanuel Mané-Katz, Abram Brazer and Savely Schleifer return to Russia. Eugène Zak moved to Nice and Vence, before joining his wife in his hometown.
Many are those who volunteer in the French army: Kisling is reformed in 1915, after an injury; Louis Marcoussis, friend of Apollinaire, will be decorated; as for Simon Mondzain, he will keep the uniform until July 1918. Some, reformed for health reasons, like Modigliani and Soutine, then volunteer for chores. Pascin leaves for London to escape service in the Bulgarian army.
During the war years, the artists who stayed in Paris without pensions or help joined forces. From 1915, Marie Vassilieff holds an artistic canteen in her workshop located in the stalemate of 21 Avenue du Maine, which is always full during the war. We speak all languages.
The First World War marks the entrance of the Jewish painters of Montparnasse on the Parisian scene. In December 1915, Germaine Bongard, sister of fashion designer Paul Poiret, sponsored a series of exhibitions in her shop in the rue de Penthièvre. The first presents Modigliani ‘s paintings, Kisling’ s paintings, which are next to paintings by Picasso, paintings by Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse and André Derain.
These painters are gradually breaking up the marginal position that was theirs. The return of the front gives them a “certificate of good conduct”, prospects open then.
On December 3, 1917, Leopold Zborowski organized Modigliani’s first personal exhibition at the B. Weill gallery, and for the preface to the catalog, Blaise Cendrars wrote a poem.
François Mitterrand, President of the Republic inaugurated the exhibition “From the Bible to today, 3,000 years of Art” on ThursdayJune 6, 1985. This exhibition included among the collection of works a retrospective of Jewish artists from the Paris School of Paris. The Paris School of Paris is a term used by André Warnord at the request of Paul Signac (President of the Society of Independent Artists) to welcome new artists of Israelite descent who have fled the social and political conditions of Europe Central or Eastern Europe. The exhibition pays special tribute to Jewish artists who ushered in new artistic ideas through the Salon des Independants. The Salon des independants was a space, originally, to welcome new spirits, new cultures whose artists could manifest through plastic forms and the choice of colors a lyrical imaginary, poetic, humorous, tragic close to the Jewish culture.
This tribute to the Salon by François Mitterrand to the Jewish painters of the School of Paris has become essential to measure the importance of these painters as Marc Chagall, Amadeo Modigliani, Eugene Zak (see source bibliography: exhibition catalog “From the Bible today: 3,000 years of art “: [ 96 th exhibition], Grand Palais-Paris, Salon des Indépendants, June 6 – July 28, 1985).
The inter-war period
Three stages of immigration of the artists of the School of Paris
Eugene Zak leaves Warsaw for Paris in 1900, Mela Muter in 1901, Jacques Gotko arrives from Odessa in 1905 and Adolphe Feder from Ukraine in 1908, the same year that the German Otto Freundlich and the Russian Alexander Zinoview. Samuel Granowsky arrived in 1909, as did Maurice Mendjizki from Łódź. Leaving Russia, Marc Chagall first goes, from 1910, four years in Paris. Istvan Farkas arrives from Budapest in 1912, Emmanuel Mané-Katz from Ukraine in 1913…
Those who settled between 1900 and 1912 had time to set up the network of friendships and relationships necessary for their growth. Other painters succeed to them, fascinated by Montparnasse.
They join him soon: Vladimir Naïditch of Moscow in 1920, Kostia Terechkovitch coming from Moscow, after a long journey of 3 years, in 1920, Zygmunt Landau of Poland the same year, the Hungarian Jean Toth in 1921 who settles in the big Thatched cottage in Montparnasse, Alexander Fasini of Ukraine in 1922, the Belarussian Ossip Lubich arrived in 1923, the Belarussian Isaac Antcher in 1924, the Mexican Federico Cantú (es) in 1924, the Polish Esther Carp in 1925. Issachar Ryback arrived from Ukraine in 1926, Abraham Iris (says Antoine Irisse) arrived from Bessarabia in 1926, Jacob Macznik from Poland in 1928. As for the Russian prince, the painter Alexis Arapoff, born in St. Petersburg, he fled the USSR, in 1924, with a theater troupe.
The inter-war period is therefore experiencing the arrival of other artists (especially Russian artists, such as André Lanskoy, Serge Poliakoff, Alexander Garbell, etc.) and sees the emergence of new stylistic trends, such as abstraction, as well as the importance of color in painting.
As soon as Hitler came to power in 1933, artists fleeing Nazi Germany: Lithuanian Moses Bagel, Jesekiel David Kirszenbaum (in) and Jacob Markiel arrive in Paris. In Poland, Sam Ringer, after having been forced to work on the construction of the Auschwitz camp, was successively deported to nine different camps and eventually came to Paris in 1947 to enter the Beaux-Arts.
Montparnasse replaces Montmartre. In Montparnasse, for twenty years, under the mantle or under the tables of the terraces of La Rotonde, the Dome, the Dome, traffickers buy and sell paintings by Derain, paintings by Utrillo, paintings by Modigliani or Picasso miraculously escaped from the painters’ cardboard.
Indeed, the three main cafes of the School of Paris are the Dome, the Rotunda and the Dome. More eccentric Puteaux we find Camille Renault’s restaurant called “Big Boy”.
The Dome was created in 1898 and it was around 1903 that the German-speaking Jewish painters, Walter Bondy, Rudolf Levy, Béla Czobel, Jules Pascin and Reszo Balint… made it their favorite place according to the tradition of the Munich cafés. There they find the Alfred Flechtheim, Henir Bing, painting merchants. Other groups include Dutch and Scandinavian painters.
The Rotunda is an old establishment, taken in hand by Victor Libion in 1911. This man very generous towards the painters welcomes painters and sometimes cleaning man in exchange for consumptions, but also Michel Larionov, Nathalie Goncharova, Adolphe Feder. Financial difficulties forced Libion to sell La Rotonde in 1920. In the same way as the paintings dealers, this man has largely contributed to the blossoming of this life thanks to his attitude and sensitivity.
It is said that André Salmon for years campaigned for the statue of Balzac, Boulevard Raspail, to be replaced by that of Libion.
La Coupole was inaugurated in December 1927 by the managing artists of the Dome Fraux and Laffont. Thirty painters decorated the pillars and the walls with paintings painted directly on the concrete: Fernand Léger, Marie Vassilieff, David Seifert, Nathan Grunsweigh, George Kars, Othon Friesz…
World War II
A group of painters, who undertake to exhibit under the Occupation, is gathered by the exhibition Twenty Young Painters of French Tradition, organized in 1941 by Jean Bazaine and the publisher André Lejard. The title of the exhibition actually masks the demonstration of a painting that does not conform to the Nazi ideology of degenerate art. In 1998 Jean Bazaine writes:
“All these painters, of very different ages and tendencies, agreed on the necessary resistance of the painting. What made them accept this general and lenient title, intended to reassure the occupier (…) It was nothing more – nothing less – than to allow, by surprise, a Judeo-Marxist exhibition, under all its forms, at a time when galleries dared to show only the art of Nazi obedience. After refusing a number of galleries, the gallery Braun accepted the risk of exposure, which was greeted by torrents of insults from a well-trained press. ”
Indeed, these painters are far from the traditional forms of art. Sorted however under the term “tradition”, they are not worried by the censorship of the Vichy regime. “I remember the opening pretty well: two German officers arrived in the middle of the gallery. They took a look, looked at each other, turned on their heels. That’s all. This was the time when the Germans still wanted to be nice “, yet tell Bazaine. The exhibition becomes the manifesto of a modern painting and federates several non-figurative artists: Jean Le Moal, Alfred Manessier, Charles Lapicque,Jean Bazaine, Édouard Pignon, Léon Gischia, Maurice Estève, Charles Walch, Gustave Singier, Jean Bertholle, Andre Beaudin and Lucien Lautrec.
Two years later, from February 6 to March 4, 1943, a group exhibition, Twelve painters of today, is held at the Galerie de France with Bazaine, Bores, Chauvin, Esteve, André Fougeron, Gischia, Lapicque, Le Moal, Gable, Singier, Villon, Lautrec, Tal Coat. Despite their aesthetic differences, emerging from this group these artists who will soon be named as members of a “New School of Paris”.
Pierre Francastel, in a book written under the Occupation, but published at the Liberation in 1946 (New Drawing, New Painting, The School of Paris), in fact labels the Romanesque and cubist style of these painters known as “of French tradition” using the formula of André Warnod.
After the Second World War until about the year 1960, the Nouvelle École de Paris or Second School of Paris refers to a group of contemporary painters, who devoted themselves above all to abstract painting. The Nouvelle École de Paris was a not firmly organized group of interconnected Parisian painters, which was significantly influenced by Roger Bissière. These included Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, Jean-Michel Coulon, Bram van Velde, Georges Mathieu, Jean René Bazaine, Alfred Manessier, Jean Le Moal and Gustave Singier. Arnold Fiedler, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, Nicolas de Staël, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Raoul Ubac, Wols, the Franco-Chinese artist Zao Wou-Ki, and the artists of CoBrA were both associated and independent artists. Many of these artists were representatives of the Lyrical Abstraction and Tachism, often the Nouvelle École de Paris is also synonymous withTachism used.
École de Paris was also the name of a series of exhibitions of modern art in Paris. One of the most important exhibitions is the ” École de Paris 1957 ” in the Galerie Charpentier. More than 150 artists participated in this exhibition, including Hans Hartung, Roger Bissière, Édouard Pignon, Gustave Singier, Pierre Soulages, Jean-Michel Coulon, Jean Carzou, Roger Chapelain-Midy and many other significant artists.
Today, the expression “School of Paris” covers several meanings.
The phrase was diverted by some in the 1950s to define a national figurative aesthetic; it then takes on a strongly pejorative connotation in the vocabulary of criticism of the late 1960s flagging the New York School. In addition, Parisian galleries relay confusion over the use of the term. In January 1952, during an exhibition at the Babylone Gallery, Charles Estienne decided to bring together only artists with abstract tendencies. They are presented as guarantors of the New School of Paris born between 1940 and 1950. The Charpentier Gallery, in 1960, widens its selection of artists. It is exhibited by the Biennale of Paris in 1961. The article of Connaissance des Arts [ref. necessary] appeared at the time of the exhibition in retrace the contents:
“The art is present in Paris, but also elsewhere in Italy, for example. This is what the organizers of the annual exhibition called the School of Paris (Charpentier gallery) understood. They added to their guests twenty-seven painters including Peverelli and ORAZI who live in Paris. Among others, François Baron-Renouard, Burri, Dova, Schneider, Fontana, ORAZI have gained an international reputation. ”
The “Young painting” of the School of Paris
Created just after the war, the Salon de la Jeune Peinture brings together painters born during or shortly after the First World War. The painter Gaëtan de Rosnay is the vice-president. They are sometimes artists who did not show themselves during the occupation or even not at all because they participated actively in the conflict in the ranks of the Allied or Resistance armies. About these painters, André Warnod uses the term Nouvelle École de Paris. This is the expression he uses in particular to classify Maurice Boitel in 1954 and 1955 in Le Figaro.
Some Parisian galleries actively support these artists since the Liberation: the gallery Suillerot, the gallery Chapelain, the gallery of the Élysée, the gallery Bernier, the gallery Drouant David, then Maurice Garnier and Jean Minet of The Art Gallery of the Place Beauvau.
Among the most representative figurative painters of this “young painting” are René Aberlenc, Guy Bardone, François Baron-Renouard, Jean Baudet, Michel Bertrand, Roland Bierge, Bernard Buffet, Maurice Boitel, Yves Brayer, Paul Collomb, Maurice Verdier, André Mignaux, Gaëtan de Rosnay, Françoise Adnet, Belias, Cara-Costea, Geoffroy Dauvergne,Jean Dries, Roger Forissier, Janerand Daniel, Michel de Gallard, Jansem, Jean Joyet, François Heaulme, Gabriel Dauchot, Rene Margotton, Yvonne Mottet, ORAZI, Danièle Perré, Peter Henry, Raoul Pradier, Claude Schürr, Paul Schuss, Gaston Sebire, Éliane Thiollier, Michel Thompson 6,Jean Vinay and Louis Vuillermoz.
These are the same artists who refuse to comply with official standards of the era Malraux and which left their works in major Parisian salons, independent of political power throughout the second half of the xx th century. A small minority of them moved quickly to abstract art, as did François Baron-Renouard, Édouard Pignon and ORAZI.
Art critics and well-known writers have written prefaces, books and articles on the painters of the École de Paris, notably in periodicals such as Libération, Le Figaro, Le Peintre, Combat, Les Lettres françaises, Les Literary news. These include Georges-Emmanuel Clancier, Jean Paul Crespelle, Arthur Conte, Robert Beauvais, Jean Lescure, Jean Cassou, Bernard Dorival, Andre Warnod, Jean-Pierre Pietri, George Besson,Georges Boudaille, Jean-Albert Cartier, Jean Chabanon, Raymond Cogniat, Guy Dornand, Jean Bouret, Raymond Charmet, Florent Fels, Georges Charensol, Frank Elgar, Roger Van Gindertael, Georges Limbour, Marcel Zahar.
Unesco organized in 1996, the 50 th anniversary of the School of Paris (1954-1975) who collected “100 painters of the New School of Paris”. We find in particular: Arthur Aeschbacker, Jean Bazaine, Leonardo Cremonini, Olivier Debré, Chu Teh-Chun, Jean Piaubert, Jean Cortot, Zao Wou-ki, François Baron-Renouard,… This great exhibition brought together 100 painters from 28 different countries in the Palace of Unesco in Paris. The curators of the exhibition are the two art critics and experts of the Henry Galy-Carles School of Parisand Lydia Harambourg.
Representatives of the School of Paris
Constantin Brâncuși, Romanian-born sculptor, considered a pioneer of modernism, arrived in Paris in 1904
Marc Chagall lived in Paris from 1910 to 1914 then again after his exile from the Soviet Union in 1923; Jewish; was arrested in Marseilles by the Vichy government but escaped to the US with help from Alfred H. Barr, Jr., director of the Museum of Modern Art, and collectors Louise and Walter Arensberg, among others
Giorgio de Chirico, an Italian who showed the first signs of magical realism later highlighted in Surrealist works, lived in Paris 1911-1915 and again in the 1920s
Jean-Michel Coulon, French painter, had the particularity of having kept his work almost secret over his lifetime
Robert Delaunay, French painter, co-founder of Orphism with his wife Sonia
Sonia Delaunay,, wife of Robert, born Sarah Stern in the Ukraine
François Zdenek Eberl, a naturalised French painter, a Catholic born in Prague
Boris Borvine Frenkel a Jewish painter from Poland
Leopold Gottlieb, Polish paintier
Tsuguharu Foujita, Japanese-French painter
Philippe Hosiasson, a Ukrainian-born painter associated with the Ballets Russes
Wassily Kandinsky, Russian abstract artist, arrived in 1933
Georges Kars, Czech painter
Kostia Terechkovitch was born in Russia and arrived in Paris in 1920, where he was part of the Montparnasse émigré group.
Moïse Kisling, lived at La Ruche
Michel Kikoine, born in Belarus
Jacques Lipchitz, lived at La Ruche; Jewish cubist sculptor; took refuge from the Germans in the US
Jacob Macznik (1905-1945), born in Poland, arrived in Paris in 1928, died at the hands of the Nazis 1945. A young and highly regarded member of the École de Paris in the 1930s, prior to its decimation by the Reich.
Louis Marcoussis, had a studio in Montparnasse
Amedeo Modigliani, arrived in Paris in 1906, lived at La Ruche
Piet Mondrian, a Dutch abstract artist, moved to Paris in 1920
Elie Nadelman, lived in Paris for ten years
Chana Orloff, Jewish, portrait sculptor worked in Montparnasse
Jules Pascin, Bulgarian-born Jew
Chaim Soutine, born in a shtetl near Minsk, was unable to get a US visa when the German Army invaded, and lived in hiding under the occupation until he died in 1943 at age 50. Soutine, a friend of Modigliani, arrived in Paris in 1913 and lived at La Ruche
Kuno Veeber, Estonian artist, arrived in Paris in 1924
Max Weber, born in Russia, arrived in Paris in 1905
Ossip Zadkine, born in Belarus and lived at La Ruche
Faïbich-Schraga Zarfin, born in Belarus, friend of Soutine
Alexandre Zinoview born in 1889 in Russia, died in France in 1977. Arrived in Paris in 1908. Volunteered for the French Foreign Legion in World War I, became a naturalised French citizen in 1938.
Associated with artists
Albert C. Barnes, whose buying trip to Paris gave many School of Paris artists their first break
Waldemar George, unfriendly art critic
Paul Guillaume, art dealer introduced to de Chirico by Apollinaire
Jonas Netter, an art collector
Madeline and Marcellin Castaing, collectors
André Warnod, a friendly art critic
Léopold Zborowski, art dealer, represented Modigliani and Soutine
In the same period, the School of Paris name was also extended to an informal association of classical composers, émigrés from Central and Eastern Europe to who met at the Café Du Dôme in Montparnasse. They included Alexandre Tansman, Alexander Tcherepnin, Bohuslav Martinů and Tibor Harsányi. Unlike Les Six, another group of Montparnasse musicians at this time, the musical school of Paris was a loosely-knit group that did not adhere to any particular stylistic orientation.