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back to summary of biography                                  The "Ecole de Paris" 1930-1939

End 1929, Raphael Pricert goes to Paris, the world capital of creativity and artistic freedom, attracted as so many artists of his time by the radiance of the Ecole de Paris which had attracted to the Montparnasse district the most cosmopolitan  and advanced culture of Europe from the turn of the century.

In 1930 he is back in Zurich for a few months and  organizes at the Actuarius gallery an exhitibition of the works he had left behind with various friends. The interest shown in this exhibition confirms his decision to dedicate his life to painting, and to settle down in this unequalled artistic centre which is the Paris of  those days.

He moves to a small studio Place de la Sorbonne where he lives until he gets married in 1935. He goes to the Free Academies, ‘Atelier Julian’ and ‘Grande Chaumière’ Every evening in Montparnasse on the corner of Vavin, he meets up with painters and sculptors from all parts of the world : Russian, Polish, and also Italian… There he meets Benn, Mane-Katz. who eventually become his close friends. He draws characters in the Cafes : the Dome, the Select and the Coupole.

Whenever he has time, he wanders through Paris and its suburbs in search of new themes. Paris is a source of bewilderment. He must also make a living to meet his daily needs, and starts to work for an advertising agency.

In 1932 Antonio Aniante, a political journalist and writer, who owns a gallery/bookshop on rue Vavin, chooses him to represent the hopes of the « new Europe » along with other artists who are also hardly known such as Filippo de Pisis, Giorgio de Chinco, Oskar Kokoschka or Kostia Terechkovitch.

This same year, he is introduced by an old friend to a very beautiful young lady , just emigrated from Russia like him, two years older than him : Lisa Samsovici. She comes from a good middle-class family in Kishenev, a Russian town which became Rumanian in 1918. He is filled with admiration by this very great beauty and natural elegance, and courts her assiduously for 3 years before marrying her on June 29, 1935.

In 1934 Raphael Pricert takes part in the exhibition of the Independant Artisits and also organizes another exhibition in Caen from April 1st to May 15. Antonio Aniante  prefaces this latter exhibition with these warm words «  I had the priviledge of presenting his works for the first time in Paris along with the recent paintings of Tozzi, Kokoshka and Coubine who represent the finest examples of the French School of Painting. I can state without  exaggeration  that he belongs to the greatest artists of this new generation ». He presents oils, water-colours and drawings : portraits and views of Old Paris, Italy and Switzerland. The interest raised by his works is so great that he is selected by the Jury of the Salon des Tuileries, where he later exhibited that same year.

Following Normandy, Raphael Pricert discovers Provence and Corsica. His palette, quite somber until then, suddently brightens up and now includes strong reds.

In 1935 Raphael Pricert marries Lisa Samsovici and the newly married couple moves to

23 rue Besnard – Paris 14, to a comfortable and bright one-bedroom apartment on the 4th floor, consisting of a large entrance hall, a dressing room  He uses one of the rooms as his studio while the dressing room is used to store his works. He now starts painting very large formats and stores the smaller paintings in the kitchen.

He wins the friendship and esteem of the owner of a large advertising agency on Quai d’Orsay : Mr. Faivret for whom he designs mock-ups and advertising bill-boards, tickets for the National Lottery, and thus manages to provide for the needs of his couple while pursuing his artistic life in Montparnasse. In the evenings he and his wife meet up with their friends at the Select, the Dome of the Coupole. They talk about their exhibitions, their techniques and major artistic theories, their suppliers, their projects. When they stay home, their friends drop in for impromptu meals. Their home is welcoming and open.

Drawing and painting are the center of their life. Paris is an endless source of inspiration. His wife Lisa often poses for him. She also inspired him his still-lives. With the good weather, they go out to Bougival and he brings back drawings reflecting their happiness. In the summer they travel around the South of France and Corsica with palette and easel. There, they  join up with his wife’s family  every year.

From this time on, the art critic of the Nouvelles Litteraires, Maximilien Gauthier states about him « His colours are clearer, the brightness is softer and his views on things looks more optimistic ».



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