Jules Pascin (French, 1885–1930) was a Bulgarian-born French Expressionist painter. Born to an Italian Serbian mother and Spanish Jewish father, Pascin was educated in Vienna before moving to Munich, Germany, where he attended art school. Beginning in 1904, his drawings were regularly published in satirical journals such as the Lustige Blätter and Simplicissimus. A year later, he moved to Paris, where he continued to produce satirical drawings, and became associated with the Modernist movement.

To avoid serving in the Bulgarian army, at the beginning of World War I, Pascin traveled to the United States, spending most of his time in the South. He became a US citizen in 1920, and returned to Paris later that year. There, he began to create a series of large-scale, representational biblical and mythological paintings. He then painted the works for which he is best known, the delicately toned, thinly painted studies of women, typically prostitutes.

Long suffering from depression and alcoholism, on the night before an important solo show, Pascin hanged himself at the age of 45. Today, his works can be found in important institutions around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia, and the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan.

Timeline

1885
Born in Widdin, Bulgaria, as Julius Pincas, he was raised in Bucharest, Rumania; he later adopted the name Jules Pascin, under which all his paintings are known
1914–1920
Lived in America and became a United States citizen to escape military service in France
1920
Returned to Paris, and from there, traveled throughout Europe and North Africa
1905–1929
Worked as a satirical cartoonist for a Munich weekly
1930
Suffering depression and alcoholism, he committed suicide on the eve of a prestigious solo show by slitting his wrists and hanging himself in his studio in Montmartre

Literature

Nadine NIESZAWER ”Peintres juifs de l’Ecole de Paris 1905-1939” Editions Denoël Paris 2000