Rendezvous in Paris


This section of the exhibition reunites figurative painters and sculptors who actively contributed to the blossoming of a new artistic scene in Paris during the interwar period. This selection of works highlights international artists whose residence in the French capital gave birth to the School of Paris—alongside several well-known French artists at the time, including Henri Matisse, Suzanne Valadon, and Marie Laurencin.

Coined by the critic André Warnod in 1925, the term School of Paris does not refer to a movement, but rather encompasses a generation of artists with a wide range of nationalities who gravitated toward the intensity of the Parisian artistic scene in select neighborhoods at the turn of the century. From 1900 to World War I, Montmartre was the cradle of these avant-garde artists; then Montparnasse followed as the new center of the artistic bohème in the 1920s and 1930s; and later Saint-Germain-des-Prés became the locus of artistic activity after World War II.

In effect, the cafés, workshops, balls, and cabarets of these three districts became the new rendezvous of the cosmopolitan artistic community and city magnets for a robust Parisian social life. Among those émigré artists who frequented these centers of activities were Marc Chagall, Chana Orloff, Chaim Soutine, and Ossip Zadkine from Russia; Jules Pascin from Bulgaria; Amedeo Modigliani from Italy; María Blanchard from Spain; Kees van Dongen from the Netherlands; and Léonard Foujita from Japan.