Oct. 12, 2021

École de Paris - Parade of Masters

The international milieu of the École de Paris is a genuine "parade" of major and minor masters of painting, graphics, and sculpture. Artists who belonged to this noble group and should be named in one breath include Mojżesz Kisling, Mela Muter, Henryk Hayden, Włodzimierz Terlikowski, and Jakub Zucker. Each of these outstanding creators had a separate story and an individual approach to art. All of them were unique artistic personalities.

Paris became the capital of world art already in the 19th century. It was there where new movements emerged and artists announced their avant-garde manifestos. From around the middle of the century, new trends began to arise, which broke with the existing canons in an unceremonious fashion. Realism, impressionism, symbolism, and later also fauvism, cubism, and expressionism paved the way for a new artistic thought. Artists associated with the School of Paris were active both in the capital of France and in other centers. Their main inspiration were always travels, both near and far. Initially, the artistic bohemia was centered around the Montmartre district, later it gradually moved to the famous Montparnasse. The place was a spectacle of scandal upon scandal. Great stars were born and at the same time unfulfilled talents collapsed. More artists entered the local scene. Some stayed there long after World War II, some did not achieve the expected success and plunged into oblivion, others lost their lives during the occupation. They all had one thing in common - the unwavering passion for art and the stubbornness with which they faced their hardships. 

An undeniably important part of this fascinating milieu was a large group of artists with Polish-Jewish roots. They came to the Seine for a variety of reasons. Some people were driven to the "city of lights" by poverty, others by the desire for a quick profit and the myth of the metropolis. In the roaring 1920s and the 1930s, Paris never fell asleep. Artists enjoyed themselves on city boulevards, in cafes, and notorious pubs.  Café de la Rotonde became the most frequently attended place. It was there that the paths of Kisling, Modigliani, and Soutine crossed. Kisling was hailed the "Prince of Montparnasse" in this milieu. The painter was undoubtedly the most colorful person of the Parisian art scene. He went down in the history of art as a refined portraitist of women. His nudes are saturated with sublime eroticism, which is excellently exemplified in the artist's early work presented at the "Art Outlet - 19th Century and Modern Art" auction. 

The offer also includes other interesting compositions by representatives of École de Paris, for instance, an intriguing landscape by Mela Muter. The landscape displays a relatively monochromatic color scheme and presents one of Avignon's churches, namely the Saint-Didier temple. During the occupation, Muter resided in the south of France hiding outside Paris, including the city of Avignon itself. A whole series of expressive-luminous landscapes from the Rhone valley come from the 1940s, including the individually developed vedutes. The painter, mesmerized by the unique atmosphere of the region, returned there long after the war. 

As with Muter, the title of a proficient "wanderer" fits perfectly with Jakub Zucker. However, the list of his travel destinations is much longer. It includes the Middle East, Spain, France, North America. It seems the list could go on forever. Zucker was an extremely prolific artist. As he himself used to say, he did not paint for money, nor for fame, but for the simple need of the heart. Looking at his landscapes, portraits, and still life today, we undoubtedly get the very same impression. Many painters, like Zucker, took up an exceptionally varying range of genres in their art. It is visible, for example, in Włodzimierz Terlikowski and Henryk Hayden's works. The artworks of these masters can also be found in the Art Outlet - 19th Century and Modern Art auction catalog. On October 26, collectors and admirers of the Paris School will have a unique opportunity to bid also on other exceptional compositions, including works by Stanisław Eleszkiewicz, Elizabeth Ronget, Jacques Gotko, and Joseph Pressmane.