Ossip Zadkine

Ossip Zadkine

Zadkine in 1914
Born Yossel Aronovich Tsadkin
(1890-07-04)4 July 1890
Vitsebsk, Russian Empire (now Belarus)
Died 25 November 1967(1967-11-25) (aged 77)
Paris, France
Resting place Cimetière Montparnasse
Known for Sculpture, painting, lithography
Movement Cubism, Art Deco

Ossip Zadkine (Russian: Осип Цадкин; 4 July 1890 – 25 November 1967) was a Russian-born artist who lived in France. He is primarily known as a sculptor, but also produced paintings and lithographs.

Early years and career

Zadkine was born on 4 July 1890 as Yossel Aronovich Tsadkin (Russian: Иосель Аронович Цадкин) in the city of Vitsebsk, part of the Russian Empire (now Belarus).[1][2][3] He was born to a Jewish father and a mother of Scottish origin.[4]

After attending art school in London, Zadkine settled in Paris in 1910. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts for six months. In 1911 he lived and worked in La Ruche. While in Paris he joined the Cubist movement, working in a Cubist idiom from 1914 to 1925. He later developed his own style, one that was strongly influenced by African and Greek art.[5]

1921 he obtained obtain French citizenship.[6] Zadkine served as a stretcher-bearer in the French Army during World War I, and was wounded in action. He spent World War II in the US. His best-known work is probably the sculpture The Destroyed City (1951-1953), representing a man without a heart, a memorial to the destruction of the center of the Dutch city of Rotterdam in 1940 by the German Luftwaffe.[7]

Personal life

In August 1920, Zadkine married Valentine Prax (1899—1991), an Algerian-born painter of Sicilian and French Catalan descent. They had no children.

Zadkine was a friend of Henry Miller and was represented by the character Borowski in Miller's Tropic of Cancer.[8][9]

The artist's only child, Nicolas Hasle (born 1960), was the result of his affair with a Danish woman, Annelise Hasle. Since 2009, Hasle, a psychiatrist, who was acknowledged by the artist and had his parentage legally established in France in the 1980s, has been party to a lawsuit with the City of Paris to establish his claim to his father's estate.[10]

Zadkine died in Paris in 1967 at the age of 77 after undergoing abdominal surgery[7] and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse. His former home and studio is now the Musée Zadkine.

There is also a Musée Zadkine in the village of Les Arques in the Midi-Pyrénées region. Zadkine lived in Les Arques for a number of years, and while there, carved an enormous Christ on the Cross and Pieta that are featured in the 12th-century church which stands opposite the museum.


Public collections

Among the public collections holding works by Ossip Zadkine are:

See also


  1. "Une enfance en Russie". paris.fr.
  2. "Александр Лисов. Цадкин и Витебск". chagal-vitebsk.com. Archival materials reported in this article state that Iosel-Shmuila Aronovich Tsadkin, born on January 28, 1888 (sic!), was of Jewish faith and studied in the Vitebsk City Technical School between 1900 and 1904, including two years in one class with would-be artists Marc Chagall (then Movsha Shagal) and Victor Mekler (then Avigdor Mekler). Thus, contrary to what Zadkine himself was saying, his father did not convert to the Russian Orthodox religion and his mother was not of a Scottish extraction.
  3. "Людмила Хмельницкая. Витебское окружение Марка Шагала". chagal-vitebsk.com.
  4. Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) Le Retour du fils prodigue, Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
  5. "La source grecque, l'enracinement d'une "terre"". paris.fr.
  6. http://biography.yourdictionary.com/ossip-joselyn-zadkine
  7. 1 2 "Sculptor Dies". The Age. 27 November 1967. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  8. "Musée Zadkine". Walking Paris with Henry Miller.
  9. Frederick Turner: Renegade: Henry Miller and the Making of "Tropic of Cancer", Yale University Press, 2012.
  10. "The Art Newspaper". theartnewspaper.com.
  11. 1 2 "Ossip Zadkine – Obituary". The Montreal Gazette. 27 November 1967. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
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