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back to home page                                                                The "Ecole de Paris"



The « Ecole de Paris » designates a historical fact and not any consistent artistic movement. This name was created in 1925 by the Art critic André Walnod and was first used to designate the very many artists who had come from all horizons and who gathered in Paris from the beginning of the 20th century to the Second World War, and who made Paris the Capital of the Art world,  open to all new trends, artistic experience and research.

Against nationalism and ambiant xenophobia, this term designated and recognized the hundreds foreign artists who gathered around the artist studios and free academies of Montparnasse, around Vavin at the Cafés « Le Dôme », « La Rotonde » or « Le Select » and who met with the avant-garde pre-war philosophers, writers and journalists.  Some of them became well-known, others remained in the shadows, some were recognized in the early days, others had to wait, while yet others were swept away by the war atrocities before having any chance of knowing success.

Amongst them Amadeo Modigliani from Italy, Picasso from Spain, Foujita from Japan, Chagall, Kremegne and Kikoine from Russia, Pacsin from Bulgaria, Soutine from Bielorussia… from 1910 batallions of artists, Jewish or not, chased from their country by the Russian revolution, by antisemitism or later by fascism, or else attracted by this creative bubbling centre. Alongside the triumphant impressionism, the fauvism, expressionism, cubism, the Ecole de Paris remains opened to all expressions. Each artist brings his own style, his ideas, his sensitivity, his pessimism, his love for life, his humour.

Chagall replies with a joke when questionned about his oniric world. « That’s the way it is » with a little gesture of the hand. Kremegene explains, each one talks about his projects,  his forthcoming exhibitions. All accents and languages can be heard in the Dôme Café. Pricert feels at home in this atmosphere. He speaks Italian with some, Russian with others, German with some others, and French as well. There is no doctrine, no leader. Each one believes in what he does. Each one doubts. There is laughter, loud talk, they sketch on bits of paper, they speak in confidence. For those who survived the war and its tragedies, this period remains the time when everything was possible. Whatever they chose to do later, whatver their former days were, this is where they experienced or even tasted what was offered to them.


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