January 22, 1891
|Died||April 29, 1953 (aged 62)|
|Other names||Maurice Kisling, Kiki Kisling|
Moïse Kisling, born Mojżesz Kisling (January 22, 1891 – April 29, 1953), was a Polish-born French painter. He moved to Paris in 1910 at the age of 19, and became a French citizen in 1915, after serving and being wounded with the French Foreign Legion in World War I. He emigrated to the United States in 1940, after the fall of France, and returned there in 1946.
Early life and education
Born in Kraków, Austria-Hungary on January 22, 1891 to Jewish Parents. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow with Jozef Pankiewicz. His teachers encouraged the young man to go to Paris, France, considered the international center for artistic creativity in the early 20th century. In 1910, Kisling moved to Montmartre in Paris initially living on Rue des Beaux-Arts, and a few years later to Montparnasse.
Kisling lived and worked in Montparnasse as part of its renowned artistic community, he joined an émigré community made up of artists from eastern Europe as well as Americans and British. Most of the French kept to themselves, although the artistic community was international. In 1911–1912 he spent nearly a year at Céret. And by 1913, he had moved to Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre, where he lived briefly.
Eventually around 1913, he took a home residence and art studio on 3 Rue Joseph-Bara in Montparnasse, however he spent a lot of his time in Southern France in the 1920s. Kisling maintained the Paris residence and studio on Rue Joseph-Bara through World War II, and upon his return after the war it had been ransacked. The artists Jules Pascin, Léopold Zborowski, and later Amedeo Modigliani lived in the same building.
He became close friends with many of his contemporaries, including Amedeo Modigliani, who painted a portrait of him in 1916 (in the collection of the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris). His style in painting landscapes is similar to that of Marc Chagall. A master at depicting the female body, his surreal nudes and portraits earned him the widest acclaim.
Kisling volunteered for army service again in 1940 during World War II, although he was 49. When the French Army was discharged at the time of the surrender to the Germans, Kisling emigrated to the United States. He rightly feared for his safety as a Jew in occupied France. He exhibited in New York City and Washington. He settled in Southern California, and had his first art exhibition there in 1942. The Kinsling family lived next door to Aldous Huxley and his family in Southern California, where they stayed there until 1946.
Under the Vichy government, certain critics suggested too many foreigners, especially Jews, were diminishing French traditions. Their comments were part of a rise in anti-Semitism during the German occupation, resulting in French cooperation in the deportation and deaths of tens of thousands of foreign and French Jews in concentration camps. Kisling returned to France after the war and defeat of Germany.
Death and legacy
A residential street in the town of Sanary-sur-Mer is named after him.
His work is in various public museum collections, including at the Harvard Art Museums, British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, the Israel Museum, Ikeda 20 Seiki Museum, amongst others. A large collection of Kisling's works is held by the Musée du Petit Palais in Geneva, Switzerland.
Moïse Kisling, Nature morte, before 1920. Reproduced in André Salmon, L'Art Vivant, Artistes d'hier et d'aujourd'hui, 1920 (black and white photograph)
Portrait of Kisling by Amedeo Modigliani
Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait of Moïse Kisling, 1918. Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
Portrait of Moïse Kisling by Roman Kramsztyk, 1913
Pablo Picasso, Moïse Kisling and fashion model Paquerette enjoying themselves at café La Rotonde, 105 Boulevard du Montparnasse, August 1916
Pablo Picasso and Moïse Kisling in Paris, photographed by Jean Cocteau, August 12, 1916
- Pologne Michelin, - 2009 "Kisling de Montparnasse - Né dans une famille juive à Cracovie, Moïse Kisling (1891-1953) fut l'élève de "
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- "MOISE KISLING, 62, PARIS ARTIST, DIES; Associate of Cocteau, Picasso and Modigliani, Was Known for Portraits of Women". The New York Times, Time Machine. 1953-04-30. Retrieved 2020-09-13.
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- Johnson, Samuel (July 2017). "Index of Historic Collectors and Dealers of Cubism, Zborowski". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
A budding friendship with Moïse Kisling, whose rue Joseph Bara address Zborowski shared
- "Jules Pascin (born Julius Mordecaï Pinkas)". Bureau d’art Ecole de Paris. 2019-01-03. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
Pascin settled at 3 rue Joseph- Bara, where Kisling and Zborowski were already living.
- California Arts & Architecture. J.D. Entenza. 1942. p. 13.
- Elizabeth Campbell Karlsgodt, Defending National Treasures: French Art and Heritage Under Vichy, p. 44 (2011) Quote: "..the prominence of foreign Jewish artists such as Chaim Soutine, Michel Kikoine, and Moïse Kisling. As a result, certain art critics such as Camille Mauclair claimed that foreign artists were contaminating the French artistic tradition."
- "Moise Kisling, Noted Painter, Passes Away". Newspapers.com. Green Bay Press-Gazette. 29 April 1953. p. Page 6. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
- "Obituary: Moise Kisling". Newspapers.com. The Guardian. 30 April 1953. p. 4. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
- "Moise Kisling, Krakow Poland 1891 - 1953 Sanary-sur-Mer, France". Harvard Art Museums. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
- "Moïse Kisling". Collections Online, British Museum. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
- "Boy in Blue, ca. 1928". The Met. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
- "Flowers, Moïse Kisling". Tokyo Fuji Art Museum. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
- "Moise Kisling". The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
- "Permanent collection". Ikeda 20 Seiki Museum.
- "Moïse Kisling Biography". Artnet.com. Retrieved 2020-09-15.