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The Zadkine Museum

ZADKINE in the French Les Arques / department du Lot 


The devastated city - Rotterdam The Netherlands

The Zadkine Museum is now located in his former residence and workshop, located on Rue d ‘Assas in Paris. Also in the French Les Arques in the department du Lot there is a Zadkine-museum in his summer residence, where a number of his works are exhibited. In the crypt of the Romanesque church in front of this museum is a Piëta van Zadkine. In the town, which itself has been completely restored, there is an artists’ center.


Zadkine was the son of a Jewish / Belarusian father, Ephime Zadkine (teacher of classical languages ​​in Smolensk), and a mother of Scottish origin, Sophie Lester.

In 1905 his father sent him to England, where he stayed with a cousin of his mother. From the autumn of 1908 he attended classes at the Arts and Crafts School in London. From October 1909 he settled in Paris. He met, among others, Léger, Archipenko and Chagall and became friends with Modigliani.


In early 1915 he volunteered and served as a soldier-stretcher in the French army. At the end of 1917 he was injured in a gas attack. Around 1918 he obtained French nationality and in 1920 Zadkine married the artist Valentine Prax. Witness at the wedding was the Japanese artist Foujita. In 1928 they moved to Rue d’Assas 100, where Zadkine had a studio and a garden.

From 1918 his work was strongly influenced by cubism. Gradually, after 1926, he left this cubist line to develop his own style that was strongly inspired by primitive art. During the interbellum, Zadkine took part in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad.
On the advice of American friends, Zadkine, without a wife, fled in 1941 with a visa for Spain from Lisbon to the United States. He stayed in New York during the remainder of the Second World War and had a studio in Charles Street. In 1942 Zadkine participated with other exiles (Fernand Léger, Max Ernst and Marc Chagall) in the group exhibition “Artists in Exile” at Galerie Pierre Matisse. He met many Parisians such as Jacques Lipchitz, André Masson, Amédée Ozenfant and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He gave sculpting lessons at the Art Students League of New York and in 1945 gave a summer course at Black Mountain College in North Carolina.


In 1946 Zadkine returned to France. In Paris, he opened The Ossip Zadkine Studio of Modern Sculpture and Drawing at the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, mainly aimed at American students. In 1947 he moved back to his studio on Rue d’Assas and taught at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Hundreds of artists received lessons from him there (among others Jan Wolkers, in 1957 .

Ossip Zadkine died at the age of 77 at the end of 1967 in Paris. He was buried at the Cimetière du Montparnasse.


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