Jules Pascin 1885 —1930



JULES PASCIN (1885-1930)


“He stands out in this drab, preoccupied, modern world of ours with such startling brilliance that at times it actually seems as though no one alive but he possesses real talent. He is naughty. He's quite scandalous. But he is also very, very, very great. I take off my hat to Jules Pascin, for as a critic of art I have an immense respect for his priceless qualities of expression, at the same time that I wrap my cloak about me, in my stern character as a defender of the virtues, and peer about to see that no one watches as I gloat over the pictures.”

Henry McBride review of Pascin exhibition, New York Herald Tribune 1923


Pascin’s most notable works are thinly painted, delicately toned, ironic studies of women, at once delicate, playful, shrewd and intimate; he also painted portraits and a series of large-scale biblical and mythological scenes.


Born Julius Pincas in Bulgaria in 1885. His early artistic training was in Vienna and Munich. Pascin enjoyed an exotic adolescence, at 15 he was drawing from life at the local bordello.   He adopted the pseudonym Pascin (an anagram of Pincas) early in 1905, at about the same time that he began contributing drawings to Simplicissimus, a satirical magazine published in Munich. In December, 1905 he arrived in Paris, becoming part of the great migration of artistic creativity to that city at the start of the 20th century.  A superb, subtle colorist with a spontaneous and expressive line, Pascin was quickly embraced as a major talent by the art worlds on both sides of the Atlantic. His works were exhibited in Salon d'Automne, c.1908-12.   


At the New York Armory show in 1913, he was represented by a dozen works.  In 1914 he came to the U.S. to escape military service in France, and spent the next six years traveling FL, LA, NC, SC, TX, and the southwestern U.S. and Cuba, basing himself in Savannah Georgia where he taught at Telfair Academy.  Only a few months into his stay in America, in 1915, he was given a one-man show by the prestigious, Macbeth Gallery in NYC; shows at Salons of America; and the Art Institute of Chicago followed.  He became a U.S. citizen, eventually living in Brooklyn.  In 1920, he returned to Paris where he lived until his death, the symbol of the Montparnasse artistic community where he became associated with other Jewish artists, including Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani, and Chaim Soutine.


Prestigious museum exhibitions of Pascin’s work during his lifetime included exhibitions at: The Whitney Museum of American Art, 1928 and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art Annual, 1929.


Ever the bonne vivante, he was famous as the host of numerous large and raucous parties in his flat, whenever he was invited elsewhere for dinner he arrived with as many bottles of wine as he could carry. He frequently led a large group of friends on summer picnics beside the River Marne, their excursions lasting all afternoon. According to his biographer, Georges Charensol, "Scarcely had he chosen his table at the Dôme or the Sélect than he would be surrounded by five or six friends; at nine o'clock, when we got up to dinner, we would be 20 in all, and later in the evening, when we decided to go up to Montmartre to Charlotte Gardelle's or the Princess Marfa's—where Pascin loved to take the place of the drummer in the jazz band—he had to provide for 10 taxis."

In his story, A Moveable Feast , Ernest Hemingway wrote a chapter titled With Pascin At the Dôme , recounting a night in 1923 when he had stopped off at Le Dôme and met Pascin escorted by two models. Hemingway's depiction of the events of that night are considered one of the defining images of Montparnasse at the time. Though financially successful, he was emotionally unstable; he hanged himself at 45. 


On the day of Pascin’s funeral, June 7, 1930, all the galleries in Paris closed. Thousands of acquaintances from the artistic community along with dozens of waiters and bartenders from the restaurants and saloons he had frequented, all dressed in black, walked behind his coffin the three miles from his studio at 36 boulevard de Clichy to the Cimetière de Saint-Ouen. A year later, Pascin, who was buried under his real name of Pincas was moved to the more prestigious Cimetière de Montparnasse.


Work by Pascin are found in major and minor museum collections worldwide, including: Albright-Knox Art Gallery;  Art Institute of Chicago; Boca Raton Museum of Art; Butler Institute of American Art; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford; Corcoran Gallery of Art; De Young Museum of San Francisco; Hunter Museum of American Art; Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris; Neuberger Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Phoenix Art Museum; Robert Hull Fleming Museum; San Diego Museum of Art; Sheffield Art Galleries G & Mappin;  Sheldon Museum of Art; Southhampton Art Gallery; Telfair Museum of Art; The Arkansas Arts Center; The Columbus Museum of Art-Ohio; The Columbus Museum-Georgia; The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum; The Jewish Museum, New York; The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Newark Museum; The Phillips Collection; The St Louis Museum of Art ; Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran,  The Toledo Museum of Art; The University of Michigan Museum of Art; University Of Kentucky Art Museum; Whitney Museum of Art and the Wright Museum of Art.


Vered Gallery offers paintings, sculptures, works on paper and photographs by Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Fernando Botero, Cartier-Bresson, Marc Chagall, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Wolf Kahn, Jeff Koons, Fernand Leger, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Henry Matisse, Thomas Moran, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Charles Sheeler, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol and Carleton Watkins.

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View synoptic biography below.

Reclining Nude

Reclining Nude
c. 1925
Watercolor on paper

6.5 x 10 inches
Signed with stamp and atelier stamp

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