Ecole de Paris

Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University


École de Paris (“School of Paris”) refers to a community of French and foreign modern artists working in Paris (as a center for cultural internationalism) during the first half of the 20th century, especially between the wars. Paris had economic stability, lacked political repression, and was home of key masters like Picasso, Matisse, etc. The art world was booming and cross-fertilizing. Artists who don’t conveniently fit other movements belong here. The Nazi invasion ended it all.

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)

He and others formed a subgroup known as les maudits (the cursed ones) because of their miserable lives: poverty, illness, self-destructive behavior. Archetypal bohemian: drugs and alcohol, drunken exhibitionism, fights with girlfriends.

Seated Nude (1912)
One of Modigliani’s elegant hypnotic nudes.

Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Birthday (1915)
Chagall’s marriage in 1915 to Bella Rosenfeld inspired him in a series of dreamlike paintings such as this one where the couple’s love for each other raises them into the air. Fauvist color (especially the orange), Cubist space (notice the table and stool), and Russian images combine here.

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) — Romanian.

A head: simplicity to the point of abstraction.

Works Consulted

The Art Book. London: Phaidon Press Ltd., 1996.

Dempsey, Amy. Art in the Modern Era: A Guide to Styles, Schools & Movements. NY: Harry N. Abrams Inc., Pub., 2002.