School of Paris

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Raoul Dufy, Regatta at Cowes, (1934), Washington D.C. National Gallery of Art.
This article is about the 20th century School of Paris. For the medieval manuscript illuminators, see School of Paris (Middle Ages).

School of Paris (French: École de Paris) refers to a group of French and non-French artists who worked in Paris before World War I, and also to a group of French and non-French artists who lived in Paris between the two world wars and beyond.

Sonia Delaunay, Rythme, 1938

The School of Paris was not a single art movement or institution, but it demonstrated the importance of Paris as a center of Western art in the early decades of the 20th century. Between 1900 and 1940 the city was a magnet for artists from all over the world and a centre for artistic activity. School of Paris was used to describe this broad affiliation, particularly of non-French artists.[1]

Early Artists[edit]

Before World War I, a group of expatriates in Paris created in the styles of Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Fauvism. It included artists like Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani and Piet Mondrian. Associated French artists included Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes. Picasso and Matisse have been described as the twin leaders (chefs d’école) of the school.[2]

Many of these artists, as well as Jean Arp, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Joan Miró, Constantin Brâncuși, Raoul Dufy, Tsuguharu Foujita and Emmanuel Mané-Katz, the artists from Belarus, including Chaim Soutine, Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Kremegne, Ossip Zadkine, Jacques Lipchitz, Alexis Arapoff, Polish artist Marek Szwarc and others including Russian prince born in Saint Petersburg worked in Paris between World War I and World War II, in various styles including Surrealism and Dada. A significant group of Jewish artists working together came to be known as the Jewish School of Paris. This group included Emmanuel Mané-Katz, Chaïm Soutine, Adolphe Féder, Chagall, Moïse Kisling, Shimshon Holzman and Jules Pascin.[3] The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme has works from artists such as Pascin, Michel Kikoine, Soutine, and Jacques Lipschitz.


In the same period, the School of Paris name was also extended to an informal association of classical composers centered on musicians who had emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe to Paris. Composers often cited as members include Alexander Tansman, Alexander Tcherepnin, Bohuslav Martinů and Tibor Harsányi. Their preferred meeting place was the Café Du Dôme in Montparnasse. Unlike Les Six, this loosely-knit group did not adhere to any particular stylistic orientation.[4]


After the Second World War the term "School of Paris" often referred to Tachisme, and Lyrical Abstraction, the European parallel to American abstract expressionism. These artists are also related to CoBRa.[citation needed] Important proponents were Jean Dubuffet, Zoran Music, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, Bram van Velde, Georges Mathieu, Jean Messagier, among others. Many of their exhibitions took place at the Galerie de France in Paris, and then at the Salon de Mai.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "School of Paris". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Glossary of art terms: School of Paris". Tate Gallery. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ Schechter, Ronald; Zirkin, Shoshanna (2009). "Jews in France". In M. Avrum Ehrlich (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. 3. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 820–831; here: 829. ISBN 9781851098736. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ Korabelʹnikova, Li͡udmila Zinovʹevna (2008). "European Destiny: The Paris School". Alexander Tcherepnin: The Saga of a Russian Emigré Composer. Indiana University Press. pp. 65–70. ISBN 0-253-34938-9. 

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