Jean Rustin

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Jean Rustin (3 March 1928 – 24 December 2013) was a French painter and prominent figurative artist.[1][2]


Rustin was born at Montigny-lès-Metz on 3 March 1928. At the age of 19 he moved to Paris where he studied at the School of Fine Arts, in the studio of Untersteller.[2] During the 1950s he was mainly preoccupied with abstract painting but from the 1970s he embarked on figuration. He created a bizarre world of human figures, where an existential dead-end is transformed into fright, abhorrence, pity but also relief.

The artist stated that....."I realize that behind my artistic creation, behind the fascination for the naked body, there are twenty centuries of painting, primarily religious, twenty centuries of dead Christs, tortured martyrs, gory revolutions, massacres and shattered dreams [...] I realize that history and maybe art history are engraved on the body and flesh of men....."[citation needed]

The work of Rustin is relatively unknown. Until the late 1960s, his abstract painting had a large following in France. However, while most European and American artists were widening the gap between themselves and the figurative traditions that preceded Modernism, Rustin started to swim against the current, a decision which cost him dearly in the short term.

Personal exhibits[edit]

Works in public collections[edit]


  • Rustin, Entretiens avec Michel Troche, textes de Bernard Noël et Marc Le Bot, Editions de l’Equinoxe, Paris, 1984.
  • Edward Lucie-Smith, Rustin, London, 1991.
  • Agnès Meray, Regards sur l'Œuvre de Jean Rustin, Thèse, Université de Paris I, 1992.
  • Revue Enfers, Jean Rustin, April 1996, textes de Claude Roffat, Pascal Quignard, Agnès Meray, Jean Clair, Françoise Ascal, Edition Pleine Marge, Paris.


  1. ^ Brooke, Anna E. (2010). Frommer's Paris Free & Dirt Cheap. John Wiley and Sons. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-470-68332-3. 
  2. ^ a b Dagen, Philippe (25 December 2013). "Jean Rustin, un figuratif sans concession" (in French). Le Monde. Retrieved 25 December 2013.