Georges Kars

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Georges Kars
Georges Kars, Autoportrait.jpg
Kralupy, Tchecoslovaquia
Died5 February 1945(1945-02-05) (aged 63)
Geneva, Switzerland

Georges Kars (Georges Karpeles or Georg Karpeles - Jiri Karpeles) (2 May 1880[1][2], other sources 1882[3], in Kralupy – 5 February 1945[4] in Geneva) was a Czech painter known for his landscapes and nude paintings.


Georges Kars was born to a German Jewish family. His father was a miller. When he was 18, Kars was sent to study in art in Munich with Heinrich Knirr and Franz von Stuck. From 1905 he travelled to Madrid where he met Juan Gris and immersed himself in the painting styles of Velasquez and Goya. In 1908, Kars arrived in Paris and settled in Montmartre at the time of the Cubist revolution, which also had an influence on his work,[5] he met Suzanne Valadon and Maurice Utrillo[6][7] well connected to the artist community. His work was interrupted by the First World War which he spent on the Galician Front and in Russian captivity. He renewed his friendship with Pascin and frequented Chagall, Apollinaire, Max Jacob, the art critic Maurice Raynal and the Greek painter Demetrius Galanis.[8] He spent the summer of 1923 in Ségalas, Hautes-Pyrénées region, with Suzanne Valadon’s family.

An exhibition of his work takes place at the Berthe Weill gallery in 1928.[9]

In 1933, he bought a house in Tossa de Mar near Barcelona. Along with a group of artists (Rafael Benet, Enric Casanovas and Alberto del Castillo) he inaugurated the Museu Municipal De Tossa Del Mar on 1 September 1935 as a modern art museum.[10] He returned to live in Caulaincourt street in Montmartre, Paris, in 1936.

When World War II started and German occupied Paris, he took refuge in Lyon where he started to draw children with a sad expression.[11] In December 1942 he moved to the safety of his sister's home in Switzerland. Away from France, he started to make a large number of drawings and paintings depicting refugees seeking shelter.[12] He committed suicide on 5 February 1945, most likely after receiving news of the deaths of relatives.

Florent Fels, who met Georges Kars before 1930, writes:

Although I lived in the strangest environment of Montmartre, next to artists with the most twisted mind, Kars stands there, singularly well balanced. He is so witty that he could be a cousin of Hoffmann's. We always expect him, just like the magician from Königsberg to create a burlesque miracle like turning the Sacré-Coeur church into an illuminated pool for the One Thousand and One Nights or to create some tales worthy of The Serapion Brethren.[13]

When his wife Nora died in 1966, the contents of his atelier were auctioned at the Palais Galliera in Paris. Pierre Levy, a French industrialist and art collector, and Oscar Ghez acquired an important part of the artworks. In 1983 the Modern Art Museum of Troyes staged the first Kars retrospective.


  • Florent Fels. Georges Kars. Paris, Éditions Le Triangle (1930)
  • Atelier Georges Kars 1880-1945. Aquarelles - Gouaches - Pastels - Sanguines - Peintures. Auction catalog Hotel Drouot (C. Robert) Paris 1966
  • La vie et l'oeuvre de Georges Kars. Joseph Jolinon, Lyons Ed. Imp. Gle du Sud-est 1958
  • Emil Szittya. Le paysage français. Paris, Ars, Coll. "Problèmes d'art", 15 mars 1929
  • Georges Kars, 1880-1945, Galerie Jean Tiroche (1967)
  • Georges Kars Peinture et Dessins, Musée d'art moderne de Troyes, Paris, 1983


  1. ^ Geburtenmatrikel Velvary / Matriční záznam Velvary (1880). "Liste der Geborenen / Seznam narozených (register Velvary, list of births)".
  2. ^ "Georges Kars (2 May 1880, Kralupy, Central Bohemia – 6 February 1945, Geneva, Switzerland) Park in the City (Hamburg), 1906". February 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  3. ^ "KARS, Georges (1882 - 1945), Painter, pastellist, sculptor, lithographer". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  4. ^ Hersh Fenster, Nos artistes martyrs. Paris 1951, p. 200
  5. ^
  6. ^ Suzanne Valadon by Jeanne Champion
  7. ^ Mistress of Montmartre: a life of Suzanne Valadon by June Rose
  8. ^ Georges Kars by Florent Fels, Editions Le Triangle
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Au nom de l'art, 1933-1945: Exils, solidarités et engagements
  12. ^ Studies in Contemporary Jewry : Volume VI: Art and Its Uses: The Visual
  13. ^ Georges Kars by Florent Fels, Editions Le Triangle